Saskatchewan new HIV cases up 8%
The number of HIV cases in Saskatchewan is up, according to a new report from the province's Health Ministry.
There were 186 new cases of the virus that causes AIDS in 2011, the ministry said in a news release Friday.
That's eight per cent more than the 173 recorded in 2010, but seven per cent less than 2009, when there were 200 new cases.
Among the new cases was Darryl Caldwell, who was diagnosed in September 2011.
Caldwell doesn't know if he got the disease from intravenous drug use or unprotected sex.
Since the diagnosis, he says, his emotions have gone full circle, from feeling suicidal to wanting to help others.
"You know, I don't care if I'm ostracized, I'm past that," he said. "My heart is in this to look out for our young people."
The data was released in the runup to World AIDS Day on Dec. 1.
Saskatchewan has had about twice the national HIV rate (new cases) since 2008.
Saskatchewan Health Minister Dustin Duncan said the province is in the third-year of a four-year HIV strategy and hopes to see further declines in HIV numbers in the years ahead.
"We're down from the high that we had a couple of years ago," Duncan said. "As we've heard this morning the goal is to get down to zero and that's what everybody's working towards."
While new HIV cases are up by 13 cases, they were diagnosed after thousands of extra tests were done last year, the province says.