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Sexually transmitted diseases on the rise

by Jonathan Chia, reporters@theborneopost.com. Posted on February 24, 2012, Friday

KUCHING: There is an increase of sexually transmitted infection (STI) here last year, said Health Department Epidemology officer Dr Ruziana Mis.

She said on average there was an increase of five per cent every year with the 20-29 age group registering 146 cases last year, followed by the 13-19 age group with 43 cases while there were 37 cases recorded among those between 30-39 years old.

“According to our record, there were 261 cases last year. These are cases that were reported to us,” she said during a dialogue session with the reflexology and health establishment operators yesterday.

Dr Ruziana said the most common cases of STIs were Syphilis and Gonorhoea infection with the highest cases of Gonorhoea infected involved those who were single while those who were married were most commonly infected with Syphilis.

“Overall, based on the Kuching Health Department’s record, there were 62 cases of Syphillis infection and 199 cases of Gonorhoea infection recorded last year with men being the majority of them.

She also said that studies showed that majority of HIV infection in the state was from sexual activities.

She stated that when the patients were found to be infected with STIs, they were usually advised to provide the contacts of their partners or close family members to ensure that proper tracking could be done to screen and treat STIs.

“However, less than 50 per cent of the infected victims provide us with their contacts,” she added

Dr Ruziana said the non-formal workers such as contract workers and labourer, the unemployed and students were the most common categories infected with STIs.

She said that majority of the infections for Syphilis was from spouses while majority of infections for Gonorhoea was from partners.

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