The number of reported cases of HIV and gonorrhea in Fredericton and Oromocto have nearly doubled this year, according to Horizon Health.
In an emailed statement to Global News, Department of Health spokesperson Paul Bradley said Public Health has received 16 new reports of HIV in the province, which is a 175 per cent higher than what was expected. Eleven of those cases are in the Fredericton area.
Horizon Health said HIV cases are within expected numbers for the rest of New Brunswick, except the Fredericton and Oromocto area.
WATCH: What you need to know about provinces covering costs for an HIV prevention drug
There is, however, an increase in gonorrhea cases throughout the province, with 64 cases reported so far, according to the health department. There were 56 cases reported in all of 2017 in New Brunswick.
Forty-two per cent of the cases were reported this year are in the Fredericton area.
Gonorrhea symptoms can include burning sensations during urination, penile or vaginal discharge, and irritation of the genitalia. There can also be no symptoms at all.
Horizon Health is reminding the public of the importance of getting tested.
“Protect yourself and reduce your risk of HIV by using a condom,” Horizon Health said in a news release. “People with a high risk for HIV are encouraged to speak to their health-care provider about medication such as PrEP.”
Halifax has also seen a sharp increase in cases of gonorrhea this year. In May, the number of new cases was more than double what was expected.
The expectation was for 30 to 35 cases in the central zone by the end of March, but there were about 80 infections reported across the province by May 1.
— With files from Steve Silva