North Not Immune To Recent Spike In HIV Cases

Tuesday, March 24, 2009 at 15:21



Medical experts say the rapid increase of HIV in the province is definitely being felt in the north.


According to the province’s chief medical health officer, 174 people were diagnosed with the virus in 2008.


That’s 50 more people than the previous year.


Dr. Moira McKinnon says 33 per cent of those cases involve Aboriginal women.


The deputy medical health officer for northern Saskatchewan, Monica Dutt, says the figures don’t surprise her — since the numbers have been increasing in the province’s north for awhile.


Dutt says injection drug use is a big factor behind the spike.


However, she notes poverty is a root cause of that.


Dutt says victims in the north need to remember that help is available to them — and measures can be taken to help them stay in their home community while they deal with the virus.


She notes the current strain of HIV is especially potent, as it can make people sicker in a shorter period of time.