Alberta is seeing Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) rise to levels not seen since the 1980s, but Saskatchewan doesn’t appear to be heading down the same path.
According to a recent news report, gonorrhea cases in Alberta rose 80 per cent last year and the number of syphilis cases doubled.
The Regina Qu’Apppelle Health Region (RQHR) reports that over the last five years, reported cases of gonorrhea and syphilis have remained relatively flat, although chlamydia case numbers have climbed significantly.
Dr. Maurice Hennink with RQHR said more than 1,300 cases of chlamydia were reported to the health region last year. In comparison, there were 196 cases of Gonorrhea.
Hennink says chlamydia numbers could be higher because it’s easier to test for, and since the symptoms aren’t as obvious, some people might not realize they have it.
“Not everybody would then necessarily seek health care for that, and that may then increase also the possibility of more spread occurring,” Hennink said.
He said social media does appear to be playing a part in the spread of STIs as it helps set up more casual sexual encounters.
“Social media does play a role and we do see this when we actually interview our cases and determine contacts and so on,” Hennink commented.
He said health officials are noticing that social media has become a fairly common factor for setting up casual hook-ups along with typical gathering places like bars.