Toronto Health Officials Tackle Rise in Number of HIV, STI Cases
Health officials in Toronto are attempting to address an increase in the number of reported sexually transmitted infections, including HIV, in the city, the National Post reports. STI figures through September from Toronto Public Health show that 405 HIV cases, 5,480 chlamydia cases, 1,293 gonorrhea cases and more than 200 new cases of infectious syphilis have been diagnosed.
Jane Greer -- counselor and administrator at Hassle Free Clinic, which specializes in diagnosing and treating STIs -- said, "We're just swamped, both with people seeking testing and people testing positive for things like gonorrhea, chlamydia, herpes, first [human papillomavirus] diagnosis." She added that the issues surrounding syphilis cases are "ongoing" and that she is especially alarmed by the number of syphilis cases diagnosed at the clinic, usually among HIV-positive people.
Rita Shahin, an associate medical officer of health for the city, said that the rise in chlamydia might be attributable to a campaign aimed at increasing testing. She said, "We're trying to find more. So that's, in a way, a good thing that the rates of chlamydia are going up." Chlamydia can increase a person's risk of contracting other STIs, including HIV (Alcoba, National Post, 11/19).