Oil companies urged to promote safe sex among their workers

Mariam Ibrahim
Original Article:  bit.ly/1IO517B

EDMONTON – As sexually transmitted infections and HIV continue to rise across the province, experts say employers in Alberta’s oilpatch need to be more proactive about encouraging safe-sex practices among their workers.
Alberta Health’s 2013 annual report on notifiable sexually transmitted infections, released late last week, shows HIV rates have increased for the third year in a row. With the exception of syphilis, overall infection rates were highest in Edmonton and northern Alberta.

The number of HIV cases in the province has increased from 204 cases in 2010 to 255 cases in 2013. The 2013 provincial rate was 6.3 cases per 100,000, a minor increase over the 2012 rate. The highest number of new cases were reported among men who have sex with men, a trend in the rates that has increased each year since 2008.

Talbot noted the rate of HIV among aboriginal Albertans remains higher than for non-First Nations populations, but has remained stable. “That’s a significant positive,” he said.

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