Category: Opinions

Wise Practices: An Indigenous approach to the annual business meeting

By Laurie Edmistonledmiston_1

I recently had the fortune of attending the annual event of the Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network (CAAN), combining their annual meeting, caucus of Aboriginal people living with HIV/AIDS (APHA Caucus), skills-building conference and “Wise Practices,” the research conference of CAAN’s Aboriginal HIV & AIDS Community-Based Research Collaborative Centre. The event brought together Indigenous people from across Canada involved in the response to HIV and hepatitis C. Although I attend most years, these gatherings never cease to enthrall and move me.

If a cure for the hepatitis C virus exists, does eradication become a public responsibility?

By Adam Cook

Adam Cook

Adam Cook is a policy researcher at the Canadian Treatment Action Council.

Since 2004 many patient groups and advocacy organizations have observed a day of awareness for viral hepatitis, but it was not until the 63rd annual World Health Assembly in 2010 that the World Health Organization officially declared July 28 as the international day to raise awareness, World Hepatitis Day (WHD). WHD is observed by agencies across the world seeking to address the global epidemic of viral hepatitis that impacts 400 million people worldwide.

“Unprotected” or “condomless”: Upgrading our HIV terminology

By James Wiltonphoto-of-James-Wilton

What do you call sex without a condom? Unprotected?

Only a few years ago, you might have been correct. But a growing consensus of HIV prevention experts is shifting away from this terminology to something more accurate and more simple: sex without a condom, or condomless sex.

Why? Our understanding of HIV transmission and prevention has changed dramatically in the past decade, and with it have come new words and terms. Post- and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PEP and PrEP). Undetectable viral load. Treatment as prevention.

Let’s talk about sex… ed!

By Suruthi Ragulan

Sex education is rarely without controversy.

As a sexual health educator, working with South Asian communities all over Toronto, I see firsthand how sexual misinformation, stigma, cultural and gender norms can all make sex a hard topic to discuss. Lately, however, it seems to be all everyone wants to talk about.

3 things to keep in mind about trans (men’s) inclusion in HIV prevention research

AydenScheimBy Ayden Scheim

In response to mounting evidence of the prevention benefits of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) use by HIV-negative gay and bisexual men, a discussion recently emerged on social media about the perceived exclusion of trans men1 who have sex with men from PrEP research studies.

In fact, trans men participate in many HIV prevention research studies, whether or not they are identified as trans when results are reported. Some do not identify as trans, but rather as men of trans experience or transitioned men, and are happy to check the “male” box without qualification. Other studies have explicitly included trans men and allowed them to self-identify. Regardless, some were upset that when results were reported, PrEP effectiveness among trans men was not addressed. In response, a number of well-intentioned non-trans men voiced their support for greater inclusion of trans men in biomedical and other HIV prevention research. While these statements are a testament to the progress gay and bisexual men’s communities are making in embracing men of trans experience, I feel compelled to offer a reality check about the inclusion of trans men in HIV prevention research.