Five factors that help improve relationships between supervised injection services and local police

By Tara Marie Watson and Carol Strike

Supervised injection services (SIS) provide safer spaces for people to inject drugs and help reduce the risk of overdose and behaviours linked to HIV and hepatitis C. Now more than ever, as Canada continues to experience an overdose crisis that took nearly 4,000 lives in 2017, people who use drugs need barrier-free access to these services. Policing practices – such as arresting people near harm reduction programs – can be major barriers to SIS attendance and operation.

We recently completed a study focused on how to improve SIS-police relationships. For this research, we interviewed SIS managers, program coordinators and police liaisons in Europe, Australia, Quebec and British Columbia, reviewed international literature on harm reduction training for police, and conducted focus group consultations with Toronto-based SIS/harm reduction workers, people who inject drugs and police. Our multi-stakeholder team (including researchers, SIS managers, harm reduction workers and student trainees) used the information we gathered to identify factors that may help to improve relationships between SIS and local police. Here are our five recommendations:

Managing your health information needs in 2018

By David McLay

Living with HIV has changed a lot over the years. And in most ways, it’s been for the best. CATIE remains committed to providing up-to-date, accurate, unbiased and relevant information for people living with HIV, and so we recently consulted a group of people with HIV about their views on HIV health information in 2018.

We chatted with 15 people, both newly diagnosed people and long-term survivors, from different walks of life and from across the country. Here are five things we learned:

HIV criminalization and the newly launched expert consensus statement: Bringing science to justice

By Richard Elliott

One of the highlights of last month’s 22nd International AIDS Conference in Amsterdam (AIDS 2018) was the release of the “Expert consensus statement on the science of HIV in the context of criminal law”. In this statement, 20 eminent world scientists — including two leading Canadian researchers — provided their conclusive opinion on the low-to-no possibility of a person living with HIV transmitting the virus in various situations, including via sexual acts. Published in the peer-reviewed Journal of the International AIDS Society, the statement describes the current evidence on HIV transmission, treatment effectiveness and forensics so that HIV-related science may be better understood in criminal law contexts. You can learn more about the evidence in the statement from the short summary and a Frequently Asked Questions document, both available here.

AIDS 2018: The good and the bad

Sean Hosein, CATIE’s Science and Medicine Editor

By Sean Hosein

At this year’s International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2018) in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, we witnessed several pivotal developments in the global HIV response. We also saw some setbacks in our efforts to prevent infections and improve the lives of people living with HIV.

From clinical science and epidemiology to human rights and advocacy, here are some highlights of the good news and the bad news from AIDS 2018.

Eliminating hepatitis C among Canadian immigrants and newcomers: how CanHepC’s blueprint will impact my work

By Fozia Tanveer

The Canadian Network on Hepatitis C (CanHepC) is leading a national effort to develop a consensus blueprint to meet the World Health Organization’s hepatitis C elimination targets by 2030. The goal of the blueprint is to guide various stakeholders with specific and measurable objectives on how to address hepatitis C in different Canadian contexts.  I’m excited for the initial draft of the blueprint, coming out this fall, as it will greatly impact my work.