Lynne Leonard

OHTNAt-risk Women, Co-infections, OHTN, people, People who use Drugs, Prevention, Research Pages, Substance Use

Lynne Leonard

OHTN Applied HIV Research Chair

Lynne Leonard’s program of research aims to have specific solution-focused health impacts on HIV and hepatitis C (HCV) prevention, diagnosis and health system performance relevant to different populations of women (recognizing the intersectionality of their HIV- and HCV-related risk environment), and to women and men who inject and use drugs.

 Research Findings

  • Undertook province-wide evaluation of Ontario’s Harm Reduction Distribution Program; the outcome and process evaluation data providing direction for further program development and reformulation. In addition, and uniquely, through the medium of facilitated regional fora, data were presented and analyzed with the 36 participating Public Health Units.
  • Undertook the evaluation of Ontario’s first provincially supported Safer Inhalation Program resulting in significant recommendations at all levels of jurisdictions.
  • Working with women and men who smoke crack, identified appropriate materials for use in safer inhalation harm reduction kits now available through the Ontario Harm Reduction Distribution Program.
  • Member of team that developed best practice recommendations for needle and syringe exchange programs.
  • Member of team that developed recommendations for the public health response to Hepatitis C in Ontario.

Current Projects

  • Increasing Women’s Access to HIV and HCV Counseling and Testing – Qualitative studies exploring attitudes to HIV and HCV counselling and testing and documenting recommendations for policy and program reformulation among  different communities of women including Indigenous women and African, Caribbean, and Black women.
  • Understanding and Responding to the Needs of Youth who Smoke Crack – Qualitative and quantitative interviews and focus groups with young people in Ottawa who smoke crack to support the development of testing strategies and prevention and support services for this population.
  • The SurvIDU/I-Track Study – Lynne Leonard continues to follow an open cohort of people in Ottawa who use injection drugs in order to document emerging trends in injection drug use, engagement in crack smoking, and to document HIV and Hepatitis C prevalence and incidence.
  • Participation and Engagement Outcomes of Peers with Lived Experience: An analysis of peer workers in Ottawa.

Work Environment and Collaborations

Lynne Leonard is an Assistant Professor and Research Scientist in the School of Epidemiology, Public Health and Preventive Medicine at the University of Ottawa, where she directs the HIV and HCV Prevention Research Team. Her program of research is community-based and collaborative. She works extensively with the AIDS Bureau, the Ontario Harm Reduction Distribution Program, frontline harm reduction services and with other health services researchers in this field including Carol Strike from the University of Toronto.

Lynne Leonard was the Principal Investigator of the Ontario Women’s Study (OWS) and continues to work collaboratively with other investigators from that project.

Lynne was a member of the OHTN Research Network Advisory Committee 2005 – 2010, member of the OHTN Board of Directors 2006 – 2007, and Vice President of the OHTN Board of Directors  2007- 2010. Since 2012 Lynne has been a member of the Board of Directors of CATIE and is currently a member of the Ontario Advisory Committee on HIV/AIDS.

OHTN Support

Lynne Leonard holds an OHTN Applied HIV Research Chair ($750,000; 2014-2019), which supports her efforts to scale up HIV and HCV prevention programs for women and girls in Ontario, particularly for women and girls who use and inject drugs.  First funded by OHTN as a Principal Investigator in 2003.