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Friday, 23 May 2014

HIV in Canada: A Primer for Service Providers - an invaluable public health on-line resource

Recently released from CATIE is a document everyone in public health should read.  Perhaps the most definitive synopsis of HIV produced yet in Canada, it is a evidence review written for everyone to understand. 

The document goes through epidemiology, prevention, testing, treatment, care and support, and programming.  

For those not into detailed reading, the on-line document begins most pages with key points, which if read alone would form a solid understanding of HIV.   Extracted are some of the key point highlights, perhaps better labelled teasers of the gems within the document

·         Global prevalence of HIV is now 0.8%
·         Canadian prevalence is 0.2%, for a total of just over 70,000 people
·         For Men who have sex with men (MSM) the prevalence is 15%, and constitute half of Canada’s HIV infected population
·         For injection drug users the prevalence is 13% and account for 20% of the national infected population
·         Aboriginal peoples have a 2.5 times higher prevalence and a 3.5 times higher incidence than the general Canadian population
·         Correction facility residents have an HIV prevalence of 2-8%.  While condoms are available in federal systems they are not in provincial/territorial.  No corrections facility provides clean needles. Methadone is inconsistently available for the newly incarcerated. 
·         Just over 3000 new cases per year in Canada
·         Hep C is four times more prevalent than HIV
·         About 150 Canadians with HIV have been charged with failing to disclose their status

Subtly hidden in the document are the ongoing controversies about risk, risk communication, responsibility of persons with HIV with the document slanted towards the existing position of HIV service organizations.  

Take half an hour to become familiar with the key points and the resource at http://www.catie.ca/en/hiv-canada  

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