Catégorie : Opinions

Connected patients, connected providers: Delivering comprehensive, coordinated, team-based care to people living with HIV in Canada

By Dr. Claire Kendall and Katie Ablett

Thanks to effective anti-HIV treatment, HIV has evolved into a chronic illness. However, people living with HIV often today also live with other physical and mental health conditions, which can be difficult to cope with, especially for those also coping with difficult socio-economic circumstances.

To provide quality care to people living with HIV and other long-term medical and social conditions, health-care providers not only need to ensure  that people living with HIV are engaged in quality health care, but we also need to enhance the capacity of Canadian HIV clinics to integrate and coordinate additional resources. By integrating and coordinating resources, we help address the needs of a whole person —needs that often cut across the various disciplines, specialties, sectors and systems that we have traditionally organized care around.

The good news is that through several interconnected research studies, our research team led out of the Bruyère Research Institute in Ottawa has shown that the complex health and social care needs of people living with HIV can be met –and, in fact, are being met –by various care models, settings and teams working in HIV clinics across Canada.

Arrivons-nous à la fin du développement de médicaments contre le VHC?

par Sean Hosein

Au cours des sept dernières années, nous avons assisté à une mise au point étourdissante de médicaments contre le virus de l’hépatite C (VHC). Chaque nouveau traitement s’est généralement révélé plus efficace que le précédent. Les plus récents traitements approuvés pour le VHC au Canada cette semaine incluent Maviret (fabriquée par AbbVie) et Vosevi (fabriqué par Gilead). Lors des essais cliniques, ces traitements offerts sous forme de comprimé ont donné lieu à des taux élevés de guérison (habituellement supérieurs à 95 pour cent) et ont causé peu d’effets secondaires graves. Même s’il s’écoulera encore six mois ou plus avant que ces traitements se trouvent sur les listes de médicaments assurés provinciales, territoriales et autres, leur approbation signale que la fin du développement des médicaments contre le VHC est à l’horizon.

World Hepatitis Day: Finally something to celebrate?

By Annika Ollner

Every year on July 28, we mark World Hepatitis Day with an event to educate, gather together, and also remember those we have lost from the hepatitis C community. This year, we should have much to celebrate: in early 2017, medications that had previously been unavailable were finally added to some formularies, including Ontario’s. This  means that people with certain types of hepatitis C who have been waiting years to access safe, effective medication will finally be able to start treatment and be cured. For many, being cured means avoiding potentially fatal outcomes like liver failure and liver cancer. It also means shedding the burden of carrying a highly stigmatized illness that is often met with ignorance, ostracism and discrimination.

U=U and the overly-broad criminalization of HIV nondisclosure

By Nicholas Caivano and Sandra Ka Hon Chu

People living with HIV in Canada have been charged with some of the most serious offences in the Criminal Code, even in cases of consensual sex where there was negligible or no risk of HIV transmission, no actual transmission and no intent to transmit.

The Undetectable=Untransmittable (“U=U”) campaign is based on scientific research, including the ground-breaking PARTNER study, establishing that when a person living with HIV on treatment maintains an undetectable viral load for at least six months, the risk of transmitting the virus through sex is effectively non-existent. As advocates for persons living with HIV await action from federal, provincial and territorial governments to address the overly-broad criminalization of HIV non-disclosure, how might the U=U campaign and the results of the PARTNER study impact ongoing prosecutions under the current state of the law?

6 things you can do to show solidarity with people who use drugs and help end the opioid crisis

By Zoë Dodd & Alexander McClelland

At the opening of the recent 25th Harm Reduction International Conference in Montreal, the Minister of Health Jane Philpott announced that more people have died in the overdose epidemic in the past few years than died during the height of the AIDS crisis in the late 80s and early 90s. In 2016, it is estimated that 2,300 people died of overdose—preventable deaths caused by the prohibition of drugs.

In response to that sobering and sad announcement, we wrote an article asking for people engaged in the response to HIV to show support and solidarity with people who use drugs. We believe that making connections between the two epidemics can help build solidarity, increase public support and mobilize people into action to address the national overdose crisis. We wrote:

“People who have lived through the AIDS crisis, who work in HIV organizations, who call themselves allies of the HIV community, who have attended an HIV fundraiser, who have learned about the history of AIDS activism, we make an appeal to you: The time for you to step up and end the massive injustice taking place against people who use drugs is now. We need more resources. We need the government to take our solutions seriously. We need the overdose epidemic to be declared a national emergency. Help us do this.”

So what can you do if you want to show support and solidarity? Here are six things you and your organization can do: