OHTN CIHR New Investigator
Tony Antoniou’s research aims to understand how people enter and participate in HIV care, the burden of comorbid illness in people with HIV, the services they use and need, and where gaps might exist that compromise this care. His research uses health records databases to understand, and ultimately enhance systems of care. Key projects include work on the health of HIV positive people who have immigrated from African and Caribbean communities and on the needs of HIV positive prisoners making the transition back to the community.
Why OHTN is supporting the development of this investigator:
The Ontario HIV/AIDS Strategy aims to improving the prevention, engagement and care cascade in Ontario. Tony Antoniou’s work focuses on the challenges of engaging people in care, and on identifying gaps that may compromise that care, a valuable and needed addition to enhancing the care cascade. African, Caribbean and Black communities are a priority population within Ontario HIV/AIDS Strategy, and one of the foci of Tony Antoniou’s work.
- Improving Maternal and Neonatal Care for Women Living with HIV – Over two-thirds of women of child-bearing age living with HIV in Ontario wish to become mothers. With appropriate prenatal care, transmission from mother to child is highly unlikely, but there has been little study of the other risks that might face these mothers and their newborns. This research is looking at the care women receive during pregnancy and at the risk of complications for these women and their newborns.
- HIV Services for Immigrants from Africa and the Caribbean – The number of new cases of HIV among Ontarians originally from Africa and the Caribbean have more than doubled since 1996, but very little is known about the health and health service use of this population. This study uses administrative health data to address these questions.
- Health service use of people with HIV – Using administrative health data, Tony Antoniou has examined various dimensions of health service use by people with HIV, including adequacy of prenatal care in women with HIV, colorectal cancer screening and emergency department use. These studies highlight where gaps in care for people with HIV may exist.
- Health and Support Services for Heterosexual Men Living with HIV – This research is comprised of qualitative and quantitative methods to characterize the health of heterosexual men with HIV and their experiences with existing HIV-related services.
- Barriers from Prison to Community – Research reveals that people with HIV who are released from prison have difficulty connecting with health and social support services as they return to their communities. Working in partnership with the Prisoners with HIV/AIDS Support Action Network (PASAN) and other AIDS Service Organizations across Ontario, Tony Antoniou is identifying the barriers to ongoing care for former prisoners and to begin identifying appropriate interventions to smooth this transition. OHTN CIHR New Investigator Sharmistha Mishra contributes modelling expertise to this project.
Work Environment and Collaborations
: Tony Antoniou is a scientist at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute at St. Michael’s Hospital and Associate Professor in the University of Toronto Department of Family and Community Medicine. He is an Adjunct Scientist at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES), where his research makes extensive use of Ontario’s administrative health databases to better understand patterns of care for HIV positive people. He also works with researchers affiliated with the OHTN Cohort Study including Sean Rourke and Janet Raboud. He is engaged in clinical research partnerships about the impact of HIV on aging-related comorbidities, and on improving HIV primary care.
Tony Antoniou holds an OHTN CIHR New Investigator grant ($300,000; 2014-2019) and is also a principal investigator on two OHTN funded projects focused on Improving Maternal and Neonatal Care for Women with HIV ($93,175; 2013-2016) and HIV Services for Immigrants from Africa and the Caribbean ($79,002; 2014-2015). Tony Antoniou was first funded by OHTN as a post-doctoral fellow in 2011.
Video Lectures and Interviews with Tony Antoniou