HIV Endgame Funding Program 2021-2022 Results

These are the results of the Fall 2021-2022 HIV Endgame Funding Program.

This funding program supports people and projects that have the potential to:

  • meet the needs of populations in Ontario most affected by HIV
  • drive changes in policy and practice across the HIV prevention, engagement, and care cascade
  • lead to more integrated health and social services
  • identify effective ways to address the social determinants that have a negative impact on the health of communities most affected by HIV
  • contribute to a rapid learning HIV health and social system

1. Winston Husbands Leadership Award in Strengthening the Response to HIV Among Black Communities

  • Egbe Etowa, Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Daphne Cockwell School of Nursing, Ryerson University

Mobilizing Heterosexual African, Caribbean, and Black (ACB) Men and Communities in HIV Prevention and Care Through Intergenerational Approaches in Ontario

This program of data, evidence-sharing, and impact builds on the weSpeak and Black Praise initiatives to mobilize heterosexual ACB men and communities to develop culturally safe HIV responses in ACB communities. The investigator will engage heterosexual ACB men in co-designing an intergenerational intervention to reduce HIV stigma and promote health literacy in HIV prevention, testing, and linkage to care. He will also expand the engagement of ACB faith leaders, people living with HIV, community stakeholders, and interdisciplinary researchers to scale-up the Black Praise intervention of HIV awareness, sermons on love and justice, and stigma reduction in ACB communities across Ontario. The ultimate goal is to translate findings into inclusive HIV policy and effective practices that reduce HIV related health disparities among ACB men and communities.

2. Breaking New Ground

Increasing Adoption of HIV PrEP in South Eastern Ontario

There is limited access and data on PrEP prescribing in smaller mixed urban-rural settings such as Southeastern Ontario. This project will explore and address the factors impacting PrEP prescription by healthcare providers in that region. Through a survey and interviews with primary care providers, the project team will identify providers’ willingness to prescribe PrEP and barriers to adoption in the local context. They will then formulate a PrEP curriculum for primary care providers and develop rapid PrEP implementation strategies for a variety of settings, such as sexual health clinics, primary care physician offices, student health services, and clinics serving the LGBTQ+ population. Through the development and evaluation of these interventions, the team aims to increase access to and uptake of PrEP in Southeastern Ontario.

This project involves collaboration with the Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox, and Addington Public Health Unit; Kingston Health Sciences Centre; Trellis HIV & Community Care; Hastings Prince Edward Public Health Unit; and Leeds, Grenville, and Lanark Public Health Unit.

  • Darrell Tan, Clinician-Scientist at St. Michael’s Hospital

Filling Gaps in the PrEP Cascade: User-Centered Counseling about HIV Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis and Linkage to Care for Gay, Bisexual, and Other Men Who Have Sex with Men

This project aims to create a tool that helps healthcare workers carry out conversations with gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (gbMSM) about PrEP, in order to increase uptake of PrEP among this population. This tool will be developed through group discussions with PrEP providers and gbMSM with experience using PrEP. The project team will then conduct a pilot trial to test the tool’s effectiveness. This project seeks to improve interactions between PrEP providers and gbMSM and to improve access to, understanding of, and uptake of PrEP.

This project involves collaboration with University of Toronto, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, York Region Public Health, Gay Men’s Sexual Health Alliance, and Hassle Free Clinic.

  • Lawrence Mbuagbaw, Associate Professor at the Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence & Impact, McMaster University

The HIV Case Management Acuity Assessment Tool: HICMAAT

This project seeks to develop the HIV Case Management Acuity Assessment Tool (HICMAAT), which will help identify and categorize case management needs among African, Caribbean, and Black (ACB) people living with HIV in Ontario. The project team will conduct interviews and an online survey with people living with HIV, care providers, and stakeholders to generate and rate a list of items that can be used to determine case management needs. The tool will then be tested among people living with HIV to determine its effectiveness. The goal is to streamline identification of case management needs for ACB people living with HIV.

This project involves collaboration with University of Toronto Scarborough, Moyo Health and Community Services, and TAIBU Community Health Centre.

3. Community-Based Project

  • Nomvelo Dingani, African Caribbean Community Outreach Worker at The AIDS Network
  • Co-Principal Applicant: Allyson Ion, Adjunct Assistant Professor (effective July 1, 2022) at the School of Social Work, McMaster University

Ranece Gordon, Project Coordinator

Black Women’s Vision – Enhancing Virtual Supports in the GTHA

This project will evaluate a virtual platform for Black women living with HIV in the greater Hamilton, Toronto, and Niagara areas. Black Women’s Vision (BWV) aims to: facilitate reliable information sharing about health and social issues of importance; strengthen virtual community connections and peer channels; facilitate capacity building opportunities related to knowledge translation, program development and evaluation, and virtual supports; and enhance the self-advocacy and healthcare navigation capacities of Black women living with HIV. This project will highlight practices regarding engagement of Black women living with HIV in online spaces.

This project involves collaboration with McMaster University, Women’s Health in Women’s Hands Community Health Centre, and Positive Living Niagara.

4. Incubator Projects

  • Megan Landes, Emergency Medicine Physician at University Health Network

FAST HIV: Feasible, Accessible, Standardized Testing for HIV in the ED

The project team will design and study a rapid HIV testing strategy in the University Health Network and Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre emergency departments (ED). As the first initiative in the province to incorporate rapid, opt-in HIV testing for ED patients with a direct linkage to care pathway for new diagnoses, this project aims to determine best practices for HIV rapid testing in the ED and ultimately increase the number of HIV positive people linked to care. The team will share project findings through publications, online reports, community forums, free open access podcasts, with the goal of changing emergency department practices.

This project involves collaboration with Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre, University of Toronto, People with AIDS Foundation, and Public Health Ontario.

  • Notisha Massaquoi, Assistant Professor at the Department of Health and Society, University of Toronto, Scarborough

Culturally Informed Intensive Case-Management for Black Communities in the GTA

This project seeks design and evaluate an effective integrated intensive case management HIV service delivery model for African, Caribbean, and Black (ACB) people living with HIV. The project team will identify, remove barriers, and enhance facilitators to link ACB community members from the Eastern GTA and Peel Regions to a racially and culturally informed intensive case management team within 72 hours of HIV diagnosis. The goal is to improve health and well-being, reduce HIV infections, and improve HIV clinical outcomes for ACB communities.

This project involves collaboration with McMaster University, TAIBU Community Health Centre, and Moyo Health and Community Services.

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