Category: Opinions

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:

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.

Indigenizing research: the Wise Practices conference

By Laurie Edmiston

This past year the Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network (CAAN) held its annual gathering, on the theme of “transforming wholistic approaches to Indigenous health.”

It’s a gathering of First Nations, Métis and Inuit people, combining a business meeting, a gathering of Aboriginal people with HIV/AIDS, and the ‘Wise Practices’ research conference.

But more importantly, it is a gathering of colleagues who have become friends, clients who have become peers, people with HIV who have become community leaders, and an extended family.  Also present are elders welcoming delegates to their traditional lands, and children – the younger ones mostly playing with each other and the older children learning and participating with their moms.

Inclusion and respect – appreciating the role people living with HIV have with our research partners

A volunteer from the Victorian AIDS Council at a community march.

By Brent Allan, Laurel Sprague, Suzy Malhotra and Rebecca Matheson

The partnerships forged between people living with HIV and researchers have been an essential foundation upon which the response to the HIV epidemic has grown. And the time has come to reaffirm and recommit to principles of inclusion and respect in the conduct of presenting research findings that impacts on our lives.