STI Rates Increasing

News Type: 

YELLOWKNIFE 23 April 2019 - The Chief Public Health Officer (CPHO) has issued a Public Health Advisory on escalating rates of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in the Northwest Territories.

The highest distribution of STIs in our population is found primarily in the 15-30 year age group. Although chlamydia is the most common STI in the NWT, there are dramatic increases in gonorrhea and syphilis rates:

  • Gonorrhoea rates are 5 times higher than the 2013 NWT rate, and are 17 times higher than the 2016 national rate;
  • Syphilis rates are 7 times higher than the 2013 NWT rate. Since 2015, there have been 25 reported cases of infectious syphilis.

In response to these escalating rates, the CPHO has directed front line practitioners to:

  • obtain confidential and non-judgmental sexual histories when required;
  • appropriate testing of genital and extra-genital sites;
  • follow recent updates in treatment regimens;
  • perform contact investigations and appropriate treatment of contacts; and
  • encourage safer sexual practices with barrier protection.

In addition to this direction, the Yellowknife Region has increased access to patients who would like to get tested for STIs. Patients can call (867-767-9120) for expedited confidential STI screening.

For more information on STIs including statistics on Syphilis, Gonorrhoea, and Chlamydia visit:

Media Contact:

Damien Healy
Manager of Communications
Department of Health and Social Services
Government of the Northwest Territories
1-867-767-9052 ext. 49034