Discussing PrEP with a physician

University of Toronto HIV Clinical Prevention Research Unit

Research Team:  Rupert Kaul, Darrell Tan (Clinical Director) as well as clinical colleagues Adrienne Chan and Anita Rachlis (Sunnybrook); Sharon Walmsley and Isaac Bogoch (Toronto General Hospital), Mona Loutfy (Women’s College Hospital and Maple Leaf Medical Clinic), and Drs. Kevin Gough and Darrell Tan (St. Michael’s Hospital).

What is this research about?

Clinical trials published in the past few years have demonstrated the ability of new clinical tools such as post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and treatment as prevention (TAP) to profoundly reduce HIV transmission. Despite this, rates of new HIV diagnoses in affected Toronto communities remain more or less unchanged.

The University of Toronto HIV Clinical Prevention Research Unit conducts clinical and program science research to optimize the use of biomedical prevention tools. The unit aims to synchronize the roll out and monitoring of these prevention tools in Toronto, giving a city-wide picture of what is being provided, what is working and what is needed. The program aims to coordinate PEP and PrEP research projects across sites, including an implementation science project aimed at decentralizing PrEP delivery, a multi-hospital observational database of non-occupational PEP patients, and a clinical trial testing text-messaging and nurse-led care for improving PEP delivery. Ultimately its goal is to lead nationwide initiatives to evaluate and implement these therapies in an evidence-based way.  In particular, the Unit’s research will prioritize the development of targeted services for gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men, and African, Caribbean and Black communities. To support these goals, the Unit has formed collaborations with local agencies and organizations who have a mandate to improve coordination of HIV prevention services, including Hassle Free Clinic; the AIDS Committee of Toronto (ACT); CATIE; The AIDS Bureau and the Gay Men’s Sexual Health Alliance (GMSH).

OHTN Support: This project is a partnership with the University of Toronto Department of Medicine. OHTN will provide two years of annual funding support of $72,000 begun in 2014.

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