Over 31,000 people are estimated to be living with HIV in the province of Ontario. Ontario’s HIV/AIDS Strategy aims to improve the health, longevity and quality of life for people living with HIV, as well as the quality of health services available to people living with HIV. Research is a tool to drive these improvements, and the meaningful involvement of people living with HIV is critical to its success.
Aging, the impact of co-morbidities, and access to care, including mental health services, are all research priorities that have been identified by people living with HIV. These topics are the focus of the researchers presented here. Ontario researchers are also working to understand the impact of social drivers of health on people living with HIV, and to identify programs to increase their well-being. As well, many programs of research address the needs of people living with HIV as members of particular priority populations. These portals can be used to explore those areas of research.
- It is estimated that 31,200 (range 25,400 to 37,000) people were living with HIV in Ontario at the end of 2014.
- It is estimated that 21% of people living with HIV in Ontario were undiagnosed (range 18%-25%) as of the end of 2014.
- 837 people were diagnosed with HIV in Ontario in 2014.
- 77% of people participating in the OHTN Cohort Study are receiving antiretroviral therapy; 76% have suppressed viral load.
- Experiences of HIV-related stigma are associated with higher levels of depression and lower levels of social support.
- A study of 990 Ontarians living with HIV and depression showed that only 51% were receiving mental health care in accordance with Canadian guidelines.
- HIV-related stigma can undermine the health of people living with HIV adversely affecting adherence to antiretroviral therapy, and access to and usage of health and social services.