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Infection rates of STIs are on the rise, says microbiologist

Last Updated Jul 9, 2019 at 5:46 pm PDT

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A University of Victoria microbiologist says STIs are increasing despite the amount of education available

STIs are also increasing in drug resistance

VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) – Despite treatment and education when it comes to the dangers of sexually transmitted infections, a microbiologist at University of Victoria says infection rates are rising and people just aren’t getting the message.

Caroline Cameron, says infections such as syphilis can have subtle symptoms, but lead to stillborn births or babies dying soon after birth.

Other STIs are even getting to the point where they can no longer be treated.

“Gonorrhea is approaching drug resistance. There are some strains that can still be treated with antibiotics, but there are others that have developed multiple antibiotic resistance and that is a big problem,” says Cameron.

She says that STIs that have effective treatments are also rising.

“There are others such as syphilis that can still be cured with penicillin treatment, and yet still those cases are increasing,” she says. “So, even though it can be easily treated, it’s not eliminating the problem.”

RELATED: VCH declares syphilis outbreak; BC rates highest in 30 years

Cameron says that over a million people become infected by an STI each day.

The most recent BC Centre for Disease Control report shows increases in gonorrhea and chlamydia. Syphilis rates are relatively stable, but are increasing in men.

Cameron will be chairing the STI and HIV 2019 World Congress being held in Vancouver, starting on July 14.