Many Edmontonians are not getting the message about protecting themselves from catching sexually transmitted diseases because the level of awareness has slipped a bit, said HIV Edmonton.

Since the AIDS scare of the 1980s and early 1990s, many are still ignoring the risks of unprotected sex since the disease has lost its once large profile, said Debra Jakubec, an executive director with HIV Edmonton.

“There may be some out there who are not aware that they have HIV,” said Jakubec during World Aids Day yesterday.

Jakubek says 234 new cases were confirmed in Alberta and she believes its rise has something to do with the province’s growth.