A recent report reveals the incidence of sexually transmitted disease is skyrocketing among Toronto’s homosexual community. Since 1998, HIV infections have increased by 49 percent. In 1999, there were 19 syphilis cases reported, by 2002, this number had soared 10-fold to 195.

Among heterosexuals, chlamydia and gonorrhea rates are also out of control, up by over 50 percent in the last five years, especially among teens and young adults in their early 20s.

Author of the report, Summarizing Communicable Disease Trends in Toronto from 1992 to 2002, Dr. Rita Shahin, told the Toronto Sun that the increase is probably a result of “complacency around safer sex.” Shahin, acting director of communicable disease control for Toronto Public Health, describes the Toronto phenomenon as one being shared by other major cities world-wide.