Prevention Research

The Ontario HIV Treatment Network supports enhanced research to help prevent the acquisition and transmission of new HIV infections in Ontario by funding development grants in prevention research. The Prevention Research Network Advisory Committee provides strategic direction on the OHTN's prevention research and training initiatives. The committee established the Evidence and Evaluation Working Group to explore what forms of evidence and evaluative methods are most appropriate for assessing prevention effectiveness.

Evidence and Evaluation Working Group

The Evidence and Evaluation Working Group, a sub-group of the Prevention Research Network Advisory Committee, has been established to explore:

  • What do we mean by "effective" HIV prevention?
  • What forms of evidence and evaluative methods are most appropriate for assessing effectiveness?
  • When is it most appropriate to employ randomized controlled trial (RCT) methodology?
  • How is effectiveness demonstrated for prevention strategies that do not fit the RCT model
  • What kinds of evidence will be most useful for frontline work?
  • What forms of evidence are granting agencies willing to recognize?

Working Group Members

START Development Grants in Prevention Research

In 2007, the OHTN issued a call for applications for Strategic Applied Research and Training (START) Development Grants in Prevention Research. The call invited multi-disciplinary and cross-sectoral teams of:

  • Researchers
  • Community members
  • Policymakers

To make a measurable difference on the HIV epidemic in Ontario by:

  • Enhancing our current prevention knowledge
  • Piloting, testing, adapting or applying promising interventions

In 2008, the following START Development Grants were awarded:

  1. Development of an HIV prevention and sexual health intervention for positive men ("Gay, Positive Sex" - GPS) (PI s: Trevor Hart & Barry Adam)
  2. Developing research in HIV risk-reduction for substance-using gay and bisexual men: A harm-reduction approach employing motivational interviewing (PIs: Carol Strike & Tim Guimond)
  3. Enhancing Access to Harm Reduction Mental Health Care and Treatment: An HIV Prevention Strategy for High Risk Substance Users (PIs: Peggy Millson & Jason Altenberg)
  4. Mobilizing Ethno-racial Community Leaders Against HIV/AIDS stigma and discrimination (PIs: Alan Li & Josephine Wong)
  5. What Women and Men who Smoke Crack Have to Say about HIV and HCV Prevention (PI: Lynne Leonard)

Grants and Awards

  1. CBR Operating Grant: A Small-Group Intervention to Reduce HIV Sexual Transmission Risk Behaviour Among HIV-Positive Men Who Have Sex With Men (PIs: Trevor Hart & Barry Adam) - $195,570
  2. Operating Grant - HIV/AIDS Bridge Funding: A Small Group Intervention to Reduce HIV Sexual Transmission Risk Behaviour Among HIV Positive Men Who Have Sex With Men: Gay Positive Sex (GPS) (PIs: Trevor Hart & Barry Adam) - $100,000
  3. OHTN Postdoctoral Fellowship Award: Developing Bayesian Semi-Parametric Models to Evaluate the Effectiveness of HIV Prevention Interventions (PI: Tim Guimond) - $275,000
  4. CBR Operating Grant: Community Champion HIV/AIDS Advocates Mobilization Project: A community-based intervention study (PIs: Alan Li, Josephine Wong & Kenneth Fung) - $375,000
  5. CBR Operating Grant: Learning From the Voices of Youth: A Participatory Research Study Exploring the HIV and HCV Prevention Needs of Youth who Smoke Crack (PI: Lynne Leonard) - $351,825

  6. Total: $ 1,297,395

Presentations & Publications

Almost 40 presentations given at a number of venues including:

  • Academic Conferences: Rainbow Health Ontario, OHTN Annual Research Conference, CAHR Conference, International Harm Reduction Conference, North American Harm Reduction Conference, International AIDS Conference
  • Community Forums: ACT Research Day, Casey House Mental Health Series, Maple Leaf Medical Clinic, Access Alliance, Women's College Hospital, Mt. Sinai Hospital, University Health Network, Hong Fook, Association of Ontario Health Centres, ACCHO PHA Summit, ACCHO Research Think Tank, Ontario Mental Health Strategy Development Working Group, CERIS/Metropolis
  • Policy Makers: AIDS Bureau, Central Toronto LHIN, Mental Health & Addictions Division, MOHLTC, OACHA, Federal Ministerial Council on HIV/AIDS

Training, Engagement, and Employment

  • Enhanced engagement of Peer Research Assistants/Associates (PRAs) and Advisory Committee members:
    • 3 of 5 PRAs returned to school, 2 of 5 sit on both the CAS skill building forum, and the OHTN's Ontario Peer Research Training Institute committee
    • 14 of 22 advisory committee members were not previously engaged in HIV-related work
  • AIDS Bureau program funding for South Riverdale CHC to revise Health Outreach Worker (HOW) curriculum for integration into existing programs, and ultimately for dissemination to other CHCs
  • 3 HOWs gained full-time employment
  • Enhanced collaboration of Downtown Toronto Community Health Centres
  • South Riverdale CHC a referral base for Toronto Central LHIN for organizations developing Peer Programming (consultant role)
  • Training of 100 individuals in Introductory Motivational Interviewing (MI), 16 in Intermediate MI


Since 1998, the OHTN has invested more than $46 million in HIV research in Ontario.