HIV law reform: Chad Clarke and Colin Johnson discuss HIV decriminalization

Anger! Disappointment! Betrayal! Equivocation! Disquietude! These are the emotions that overwhelm Chad Edward Clarke on any given day, yet he remains committed to his cause: to change the way that the Canadian justice system has dealt with HIV non-disclosure through criminalization. Chad was recently awarded the first HIV is Not A Crime Leadership Award by the Canadian Coalition to Reform HIV Criminalization (CCHRC) and shares his story below with one of the coalition’s steering committee members, Colin Johnson. Colin Johnson: Chad, I know that you’ve told your story many times before, but it needs to be heard. Let’s start with...

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Protecting ourselves, protecting each other: The current reality of GHB in the PnP scene and solutions to keep our friends alive

Warning: this blog post describes a fatal overdose. This content will be upsetting to some of our readers. For support around grief and loss, please contact Healing Hearts Canada.   Connor shouldn’t have died alone in his room. Left by his hookup, face down on his bed after passing out, he choked on his own vomit. His death was preventable: putting him in the recovery position and staying with him could have saved his life. Connor was the first in a series of recent deaths in Toronto’s party and play (PnP) scene attributed to GHB and its substitutes, GBL and...

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Uncovering gaps in hepatitis B and C services for immigrants and newcomers: A new report from Action Hepatitis Canada

Immigrants and newcomers make up almost a quarter of Canada’s population, contributing enormously to the social, cultural, and economic vitality of our country. To ensure Canada upholds its commitment to the well-being of newcomers and the strength of our diverse communities, it’s essential to prioritize equitable access to healthcare. This not only safeguards the individual health and dignity of newcomers but also nurtures the resilience and prosperity of our society as a whole. Ensuring equitable healthcare means acknowledging that immigrants may have distinct needs due to cultural and linguistic barriers or other social determinants of health. They may also be...

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Point-of-care RNA testing: Can it close the gap in hepatitis C diagnosis?

Hepatitis C is a viral infection that can cause liver damage and scarring and make a person very sick if left untreated. Nearly one-quarter of people who have ever had hepatitis C in Canada are unaware of their status, so increasing testing remains pivotal if Canada is to eliminate hepatitis C as a public health threat by 2030. Many advances have been made over the past few years, and more tools are available than ever to test people for hepatitis C. Point-of-care RNA testing for hepatitis C is of particular interest to many service providers because it can be conducted outside...

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Tackling misconceptions: Hepatitis C treatment for people who use drugs

With the advent of treatments called direct-acting antivirals (DAAs), a huge number of people across Canada have been successfully cured of hepatitis C. However, efforts to cure some of the most affected communities continue to be hindered by incorrect or outdated information. For example, many successes in curing hepatitis C have been achieved through the determination of people who use drugs, and yet they still encounter access barriers due to discrimination and problematic misconceptions around treatment eligibility. These gaps in knowledge can be addressed by raising awareness about hepatitis C treatment and organizations across Canada have been working to clarify...

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