Ending the HIV epidemic in Canada in five years seems like an ambitious goal, but it is now in fact a target being advocated by a group of public health and HIV advocates in a new document published by the Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research (CANFAR). I am one of the authors of that document, which acknowledges the necessity of addressing racism and structural violence. But, except for support from a couple co-authors, I am dispirited by the co-authors’ failure to be clear about the difference those systemic and structural issues make, to inspire determination in addressing them, and to illustrate what is at stake and what it means to address racism and structural disadvantage.
En énonçant les objectifs 90-90-90 en 2014, l’Organisation mondiale de la Santé et l’ONUSIDA proposaient une impulsion nouvelle : notre génération pourrait voir la fin de l’épidémie du sida. Nombreuses sont les voies possibles pour arriver à ce résultat, et les initiatives de riposte accélérée des Villes, les Fast Track Cities, en sont une.
C’est à Paris le 1er décembre 2014 qu’est né ce modèle des Villes sans sida, issu d’un constat : les 200 villes les plus touchées abritent à elles seules plus du quart des 35 millions de personnes vivant avec le VIH. En s’impliquant dans la riposte au VIH, les villes ajoutent leur leadership dans la création de stratégies locales.
“The time for excuses is over. It’s very, very clear that the risk is zero. If you are on suppressive antiretroviral treatment you are sexually non-infectious” — Dr. Alison Rodger of University College London, lead author of PARTNER 2, presenting at the 22nd International AIDS Conference in Amsterdam, July 25, 2018.
It’s difficult to overstate the power of this message for people with HIV, such as myself, because it changes what it means to live with HIV. It opens up social, sexual and reproductive choices we and our sexual partners never thought would be possible. It encourages those of us with HIV to start and stay on treatment to keep both us and our sexual partners healthy. It’s an opportunity to transform how we see ourselves, how we’re perceived by our families and friends, by our current or potential sexual partners, and by people in general.
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:
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.
The CATIE Blog hosts the views and opinions of people and organizations working and volunteering in Canada’s response to HIV and hepatitis C.