Mot clé : VIH

HIV and mental health: The elephant in the room

By Tammy C. Yates

In his famous poem “The Blind Men and the Elephant”, John Godfrey Saxe retells an Indian parable about three blind men who went to see an elephant. Of course, being blind, they could only ‘see’ the elephant by touching it. When asked to describe the elephant, one grabbed it by its trunk and said, “An elephant is like a snake!” The second man took his turn to touch it, pulled it by the leg, and confidently determined, “No, an elephant is like a tree trunk!” The third and final person to touch the elephant grabbed it by its tusks and said, “Tsk, tsk, tsk, you are both wrong: an elephant is smooth, cold and hard.” Each of the men touched the elephant, yet from their perspectives, the experiences of the elephant were totally different.

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.

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?

Trois raisons pour lesquelles CATIE appuie I=I en matière de transmission sexuelle du VIH

Par Camille Arkell

CATIE a récemment appuyé  la Déclaration de consensus de la campagne pour l’accès à la prévention, célébrant ainsi le fait que « indétectable égale intransmissible ». Mise de l’avant par un groupe de personnes dévouées vivant avec le VIH, cette déclaration révolutionnaire a poussé CATIE à réfléchir à ses propres messages sur la prévention de la transmission sexuelle du VIH.

Les données de recherche sur le traitement comme outil de prévention s’accumulent lentement depuis de nombreuses années. En tant qu’organisme voué à la diffusion d’informations fondées sur des données probantes, CATIE reconnaît que les preuves se rapportant à la charge virale indétectable sont maintenant tellement nombreuses que nous sommes obligés de faire un pas de plus dans nos messages. Nous pouvons donc dire ceci avec confiance : lorsqu’une personne sous traitement antirétroviral a une charge virale indétectable durable et qu’elle reçoit régulièrement des soins, elle ne transmet pas le VIH à ses partenaires sexuels.

Voici les raisons de notre adhésion au principe I=I :

There are thousands of people in Canada who are in a serodiscordant relationship, yet we know very little about their experiences and needs

By James Iveniuk

Marcus and David have been dating for three years. Marcus is HIV-positive and David is HIV-negative. David was worried when he told his parents that his new partner was HIV-positive, but after they saw how happy Marcus makes him, they have welcomed Marcus into their lives. At the same time, they still worry that their son may become infected.

Faith is living with HIV, and her partner, Scott, is HIV-negative. Faith often finds herself having to educate Scott on what she has to do to manage her condition and Scott has had difficulty understanding because information changes quickly. They fight more often — about sex, about health —and about where they see their relationship going.

These are hypothetical examples of two different types of relationships that involve HIV, yet many other couples have their own, unique experiences. So it is hard to know what kinds of experiences are the most common for people in these relationships.