Launch of the new provincial HIV strategy

Emily WhiteNews, Slider

The Ministry of Health and Long-Term care has just launched the HIV/AIDS Strategy to 2026: Focusing Our Efforts – Changing the Course of the HIV Prevention, Engagement and Care Cascade in Ontario.

Prepared by the Ontario Advisory Committee on HIV/AIDS (OACHA), the strategy embraces a bold vision – by 2026, new HIV infections will be rare in Ontario and people with HIV will lead long, healthy lives free from stigma and discrimination.

The new strategy builds on the foundation and successes of the last provincial strategy, and introduces a stronger focus on engaging people living with or at risk of HIV, as well as a greater awareness of the need to address the social determinants of health. The new strategy also commits the HIV sector in Ontario to: changing the course of the prevention, engagement and care cascade; focusing on the populations most affected by HIV; and finding new and better ways to connect HIV care with other health and social services.

“The strategy represents a huge amount of work,” says OHTN Scientific and Executive Director Dr. Sean Rourke. “The process engaged all of the key stakeholders and communities affected in Ontario, so it captures the key issues and systems that need ‘real life’ solutions on the ground to help those living with or at risk of HIV to thrive. At the OHTN, we’re stepping up our game to be a major partner in the response.”

Tony Di Pede, Chair of the OHTN’s Board of Directors, stresses that the new strategy “is grounded in and honours the lived experience of people living with and affected by HIV and AIDS. We are grateful to the AIDS and Hepatitis C Programs Branch at the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care for its leadership on this strategy. The OHTN will do everything it can as a backbone organization to support the communities we serve.”

The new provincial strategy is supported by Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, and Debbie Korzeniowski, Director, Provincial Programs Branch (MOHTLC).

Letter from Dr. Eric Hoskins:

Letter from Debbie Korzeniowski: