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News Release

Friends Don’t Give Friends Chlamydia

Mar 06, 2013
Chlamydia, a sexually transmitted infection (STI), is on the rise in Simcoe County and across Ontario. In 2011, there were 36,395 chlamydia cases reported in Ontario, with nearly 1,100 of those in Simcoe Muskoka.

­­­SIMCOE – Chlamydia, a sexually transmitted infection (STI), is on the rise in Simcoe County and across Ontario. In 2011, there were 36,395 chlamydia cases reported in Ontario, with nearly 1,100 of those in Simcoe Muskoka.  

Ontario Public Health, a partnership of the 36 public health units in Ontario, has launched a province-wide chlamydia campaign for young adults at sexualhealthontario.ca / santesexuelleontario.ca in an effort to raise awareness about chlamydia prevention, testing and treatment. Many people who have chlamydia infection show no symptoms, and as a result don't even know they have it and pass it along to unsuspecting partners.   

“We’ve seen a pretty consistent rise in chlamydia cases over the past decade in Simcoe Muskoka,” said Jillian Fenik, sexual health program manager with the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit. “While part of this increase is due to changes in screening practices and advances in testing methods, the asymptomatic nature of chlamydia combined with unprotected sex has also allowed it to spread quickly through the population.” 

Young adults are particularly vulnerable with individuals 18-24 years old making up 52 per cent of all reported cases. Despite the increased number of cases, there are likely many more that go unreported because people who have chlamydia may not even know they have it. Chlamydia infections can occur through unprotected sexual activity with someone who has chlamydia, even if they do not have any symptoms. 

“If you’ve had unprotected sex of any kind, the most important thing you can do for your health and the health of any partners is to get tested,” continued Fenik. “Testing for STIs is simple. It’s as easy as providing a urine sample to see if you’re infected with chlamydia.” 

Individuals who are sexually active should ask their doctor or health care provider to make STI testing a part of their regular check-up. For those without a health care provider, the health unit hosts sexual health clinics across Simcoe Muskoka, offering free and confidential STI testing. A list of local sexual health clinics can be found at simcoemuskokahealth.org/HealthUnit/Services/Clinics/SexualHealth.aspx 

For more information about chlamydia and other STIs, and how to protect yourself and your sexual partners, visit simcoemuskokahealth.org or call Your Health Connection at 705-721-7520 or 1-877-721-7520 (ext. 8376), Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and speak with a public health nurse.

           

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