Information identified as archived is provided for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. It is not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards and has not been altered or updated since it was archived. Please "contact us" to request a format other than those available.
Chlamydia, caused by Chlamydia trachomatis, and genital herpes, caused by simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2), are common sexually transmitted infections. Their prevalence has been estimated in selected populations, but overall prevalence in Canada is not known.
Data and methods
Data are from the 2009 to 2011 Canadian Health Measures Survey. Socio-demographic, health and lifestyle information was obtained via a household questionnaire; blood and urine collected at a mobile examination centre were used to identify the presence of Chlamydia trachomatis and HSV-2 among 14- to 59-year-olds.
An estimated 13.6% of Canadians (2.9 million) tested positive for HSV-2, and another 0.7% (158,000), for chlamydia. HSV-2 affects higher percentages of women than men, and individuals aged 35 to 59 versus 15 to 34. No significant differences in HSV-2 prevalence were detected by marital status, household income, education, or racial background. Nearly all individuals with laboratory-confirmed chlamydia or HSV-2 were unaware that they were infected.
This study is the first in Canada to report laboratory-confirmed prevalence of chlamydia and HSV-2 using a nationally representative sample. Results suggest that most infected people are unaware of their status.
Disease notification, health surveys, sexually transmitted diseases
Information about the prevalence of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in Canada tends to be limited—not all STIs are notifiable; under-reporting may occur; and because of selection bias, generalizability is restricted. And even for nationally notifiable infections, data derived from routine surveillance capture only cases that are diagnosed and reported to public health authorities. [Full Text]
Michelle Rotermann (firstname.lastname@example.org; 1-613-951-3166) and Kellie A. Langlois (email@example.com: 1-613-951-3806) are with the Health Analysis Division at Statistics Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0T6. Alberto Severini and Stephanie Totten are with the Public Health Agency of Canada.
What is already known on this subject?
- Chlamydia and herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) can have serious immediate and long-term physical and psychological consequences.
- In Canada, information about chlamydia and HSV-2 prevalence has been derived from data collected from voluntary testing, screening of high-risk populations, and/or administrative health services or laboratory data.
What does this study add?
- Based on the results of urine and blood analyses conducted by the 2009 to 2011 Canadian Health Measures Survey, this study reports nationally representative prevalence estimates of chlamydia and HSV-2.
- An estimated 13.6% of Canadians aged 14 to 59 (2.9 million) tested positive for HSV-2, and 0.7% (158,000), for chlamydia.
- Nearly all individuals with laboratory-confirmed HSV-2 and all individuals with laboratory-confirmed chlamydia did not know that they were infected.
- Date modified: