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News Release

Muskoka Students Share STI Awareness

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

­­­MUSKOKA – Chlamydia, a sexually transmitted infection (STI), is on the rise across Ontario, with 36,395 cases reported in the province in 2011, nearly 1,100 of which were in Simcoe Muskoka. In an effort to raise STI awareness, the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit and Trillium Lakelands District School Board (TLDSB) worked together on a contest, inviting students to create posters with positive sexual health messages.

“Students from Bracebridge, Gravenhurst and Huntsville were challenged to create posters that shared what sexual health means to them,” said Jillian Fenik, sexual health program manager with the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit. “The contest allowed students to visually express their thoughts and creatively share positive STI prevention messages with their peers.”

Of the forty inspiring creations that were received, three winners were chosen by staff:  

  • Brianna Bedford – You can always prevent an STI
  • Justin Frederick – Spread information not infection and
  • Alex Gallacher – Just because you go fast doesn’t mean you can outrun STIs.

Their designs are now on display at TLDSB schools and online at thephakz.ca.

Seta Moore, a Grade 7/8 teacher from Bracebridge Public School, recently approached the health unit for resources to support the Human Sexuality portion of the public school curriculum. Although public health nurses do not teach in classrooms, Moore felt their expertise in promoting healthy sexuality and reducing STIs would be invaluable to her students.

“Public health nurses help teachers by filling in the gaps when it comes to sexual health,” continued Fenik. “Addressing these knowledge gaps helps students become more aware about sexuality and enables better decision making as children enter and progress through their adolescent years.”

Ontario Public Health, a partnership of the 36 public health units in Ontario, has also 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.  Young adults are particularly vulnerable, with individuals 18-24 years old making up 52 per cent of all reported cases. 

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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