Spreading the good news about HIV treatment and prevention

By Laurie Edmiston Good news? On this World AIDS Day, 2016, there is a lot to report. The science of treatment and prevention has much to inspire agencies delivering needed services to people living with, and at risk of, HIV. We know that there are significant health benefits for people with HIV to begin treatment as soon as possible after diagnosis. Early treatment with good adherence in order to maintain an undetectable viral load allows an HIV-positive person to live a long and healthy life. A ground-breaking study called START (Strategic Timing of Antiretroviral Treatment) found that immediate treatment upon...

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The Face of Our Story

The Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art, in partnership with the Toronto Community Hep C Program (TCHCP), invited people with lived experience of hepatitis C to take part in an art project called The Face of Our Story. In that project, clay tiles depicting stories of lived experience would be displayed at the museum on World Hepatitis Day, July 28, 2016. This is the story of two artists who participated in the event.

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More obvious and sinister villains are responsible for the number of drug overdose deaths in Vancouver Island

As of August 31st, 2016, the number of drug overdose deaths in the province of B.C. sat at 488, with the highest rate of fatal drug overdose occurring on Vancouver Island, where there has been a 135 per cent increase in fatal drug overdoses since August 31st, 2015 (compared to a 43.5 per cent increase provincially during the same time period). Health authorities, law enforcement, public health officers and politicians alike have stood shoulder to shoulder blaming fentanyl as the culprit; however I suggest that more obvious and sinister villains are responsible.

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From CWGHR to realize: A Coming of Age Story

Picture it … Quebec City, 1998, thirty people with diverse interests, identities and professions meet to discuss the idea of HIV and rehabilitation for the first time. All were curious, but unsure of the connection between rehabilitation and HIV prevention, treatment, care and support and the role they could play. There the Canadian Working Group on HIV and Rehabilitation (CWGHR) was born! As people were no longer expecting to die of AIDS, this group of pioneers could see that rehabilitation – in a broad sense – was key to enabling people living with HIV to not only survive, but also thrive.

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We need to address the unique and complex issues of Indigenous people living with HIV

By Cécile Kazatchkine and Sandra Ka Hon Chu Indigenous people in Canada are disproportionately affected by HIV, representing 10.8 per cent of new HIV infections and 9.1 per cent of people living with HIV in Canada.[1]  In Saskatchewan alone, the number of Indigenous people living with HIV is around twice the national average and the highest in Canada and “one of the few places in the industrialized world where people are still dying from AIDS and HIV.” Lack of access to HIV treatment and care among other complex factors contributes to these alarming rates: in many rural or remote areas, HIV-specific...

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The Canadian Consensus Statement. Sign it. Use it. I have and here’s why.

By Glenn Betteridge Many of you may have noticed the ebb and flow of the community-based HIV movement, influenced by medical and scientific breakthroughs, funder priorities, community activism and larger political, social and economic forces.  Throughout my 20-plus years in HIV community-based work and volunteering, I have tried to ground myself in a few bedrocks as a way of anchoring my work. The essential connection between health and human rights. The need for policies, programs and services grounded in evidence and lived experience. Recognition of the central role played by the social determinants of health. And a commitment to social...

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