The 2016 Sexually Transmitted and Blood-Borne Infections in Windsor and Essex County report, as prepared by the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit, provides insight into the burden of reportable sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections (STBBIs) in Windsor-Essex County during the previous ten year period of 2005 to 2014. The key findings of this report are described below:
- There is an average of 982 STBBIs reported annually in Windsor-Essex County and the annual number of STBBIs has increased by 27% since 2005.
- The top 3 most common STBBIs are chlamydia, hepatitis C, and gonorrhoea which account for 95% of all STBBI cases in Windsor-Essex County.
- Adolescents and young adults (those aged 15-29 years old) accounted for 72% of all STBBIs and were over 10-times more likely to have an STBBI than the rest of the Windsor-Essex County population.
- Chlamydial infections are the most common reportable disease (accounting for 73% of all STBBIs) in Windsor-Essex County; there is an average of 720 chlamydial infections annually in the region and the number of cases has increased by 48% since 2005.
- While the rate of gonorrhoea is steadily increasing in Ontario, it has decreased in Windsor-Essex County by 45%. However, gonorrhoea is still a leading cause of STBBIs and there is an average of 70 cases reported annually in the region.
- In Windsor-Essex County, the rate of hepatitis C infections is increased by 15% and it is greater than the Ontario rate. There are, on average, 140 cases per year in the region, mostly in individuals over 30 years old.
- Males and individuals who have sex with the same sex were disproportionately affected by HIV in Windsor-Essex County. However, the rate of HIV in the region has decreased slightly and is lower than the Ontario rate.
- Although syphilis is a relatively uncommon disease, the rate of infectious syphilis has greatly increased by 220% in Windsor-Essex County since 2005.
- There were a lower number (less than 5 cases per year) of acute hepatitis B infections, neonatal group B streptococcal infections, congenital cytomegalovirus infections, and neonatal herpes in Windsor-Essex County.
- There were no reported cases of chancroid, hepatitis D, or ophthalmia neonatorum in Windsor-Essex County from 2005 to 2014.
- In 2014, STIs cost Windsor-Essex County $21.9 million in direct and indirect costs.
The overall findings of this report demonstrate that STBBIs are becoming an increasing burden on the population health of Windsor-Essex County. There is marked need for further public health programs and strategies to prevent and reduce the burden of STBBIs within the Windsor-Essex County population.