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Researchers estimate that Indigenous Peoples in Ontario have a rate of HIV infection 1.7 times higher than the general population. This is substantially lower that the rate of infection amongst Indigenous Peoples in many other provinces, although questions remain the potential under-diagnosis of Indigenous peoples, especially in Northern communities. In Ontario, about one in three Indigenous people diagnosed with HIV are exposed through injection drug use. The social and economic disparities which limit the well-being of Indigenous people have a powerful impact on both HIV infection and on drug use.

Research approaches developed and led by Indigenous communities are crucial to addressing these issues and to improving the well-being of Indigenous people living with and at-risk of HIV. OHTN works through through the Indigenous Research Initiative to support the development of culturally safe HIV prevention, treatment and care programs with Indigenous communities that respect and incorporate Indigenous ways of knowing.

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