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About STIs

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Trends

The BC Centre for Disease Control tracks the number of cases of reportable STIs over time to see if there are increases or decreases in infection rates. In 2016, there were 15,057 cases of chlamydia and 3,260 cases of gonorrhea diagnosed in BC. 2016 again saw an increase in the number of genital gonorrhea cases; although the percent increase was not as great as in 2015. No clear cause of the 2015 increase in genital gonorrhea has been identified, and the BC Centre for Disease Control continues to investigate.

Chlamydia and gonorrhea cases have been increasing since the late 1990s. This increase may be partly explained by improved tests for chlamydia and gonorrhea and by the fact that more people have been getting tested.

Graph showing trends in chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis and HIV from 1996-2016

BC is currently experiencing a syphilis epidemic, as is most of North America and Europe. The number of syphilis cases is higher now than what we would expect (for example, based on numbers before 2000). There were 759 cases of syphilis diagnosed in 2016, a slight decrease compared to 2016.

Since the initial height of the HIV epidemic in BC in the 80’s and early 90’s, the number of HIV cases leveled off and more recently has been decreasing, reaching the fewest cases seen since before the HIV epidemic started in the 1980s. 

The following graphs show each of the reportable STIs with adjusted scales to highlight the trends over the past 20 year period.

Graphs showing individual trends for each reportable STI from 1996 to 2016

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HIV, chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, case, rate, trends
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