The CATIE Exchange

The CATIE Exchange - September 21, 2016 

Highlights in this Issue

  • Sign on to the Canadian Consensus Statement today
  • CATIE Webinar, October 5 – Are you prepped for PrEP?
  • Calling all CATIE Members: Vote for the Board and Attend our Annual Meeting
  • The Resonance Project Community Report now available
  • Fall issue of The Positive Side is out: Man on a Mission
  • The CATIE Blog: New post – The Canadian Consensus Statement. Sign it. Use it. I have and here’s why by Glenn Betteridge

New Resources

The Positive Side (Fall 2016): Man on a Mission

As summer winds to a close, you can toss that trashy novel and dig into your favourite magazine for people living with HIV. In this latest issue, we explore addictions from different angles—personal stories, expert advice and programs that support people who use drugs. Christian Hui speaks candidly about his struggles and triumphs as a gay Asian man living with HIV. In “Ask the Experts,” neuroscientist Marc Lewis, peer navigator Angela Thomson and psychoanalyst Marco Posadas share their insights and advice. And we shine a light on programs that treat drug users with respect and without stigma. 

Also in this issue: We ask four positive parents, “How do you talk to your kids about HIV?” We explore how new Hep C treatments can change the equation for people co-infected with HIV and hepatitis C. You’ll also hear how expanded options in the HIV prevention toolkit are allowing more HIV-positive people to enjoy happy and healthy sex lives. Finally, Darien Taylor sits down to talk with the talented Margarite Sanchez, for whom art and life constitute a seamless and harmonious whole.

Download the PDF

The Resonance Project Community Report


The Resonance Project Community Report is a national community-based research project to understand more about how gay men and their service providers understand, perceive and integrate these new prevention approaches in Canada. Over 80 gay men and 30 service providers took part in the research. The report explores many key issues related to how biomedical aspects of HIV are being taken up by gay men and their service providers.

Download the PDF

Safer Sex Guide

CATIE, 2016

The Safer Sex Guide is a plain-language, sex-positive resource that gives readers information about preventing HIV and other sexually transmitted infections using a fun and engaging approach to content and images. It provides risk-reduction and prevention tips by sex act, and is meant for a diverse audience.

Download the PDF

Guide québécois de dépistage des infections transmissibles sexuellement et par le sang

Ministry of Health and Social Services of Quebec, 2016

Available in French only.

Download the PDF

Guide québécois de dépistage des ITSS : Supplément – Dépistage du VIH dans les points de service à l'aide de trousses de dépistage rapide

Ministry of Health and Social Services of Quebec, 2016

Available in French only.

Download the PDF

#ResistStigma: How do we get there? A scoping review

Community-Based Research Centre for Gay Men’s Health, 2016

This report, summarizing the work of the CBRC Resist Stigma Project, surveys the landscape of campaigns, programs, policies and interventions that individuals, communities, organizations, institutions and governments have used to resist HIV stigma and promote change, considering peer-reviewed and grey literature in regions such as Canada, the US, the UK, the EU and Australia. In the context of developing such campaigns and educational efforts, the report advocates collaborating with people living with HIV to identify their specific needs, in order to lessen or eliminate the shame and stigma that certain approaches can perpetuate. It is hoped that this report will be a useful resource for community-based organizations, HIV/AIDS service groups, researchers, practitioners, educators and policymakers.

Download the PDF

FACTSHEET: Epclusa (velpatasvir + sofosbuvir)

CATIE, 2016

This factsheet summarizes up-to-date information on Epclusa. Epclusa is a medication used to treat hepatitis C. It is approved in Canada for people with all genotypes of the hepatitis C virus.

Download the PDF


HepCinfo Update 7.16: HIV may not speed up Hep C-related liver injury; Epclusa and Harvoni effective for people on OST

Study finds shift in cancers as HIV-positive people age

Negligible Risk: Updated results from two studies continue to show that antiretroviral treatment and an undetectable viral load is a highly effective HIV prevention strategy

CATIE updates

Webinar – Are you prepped for PrEP?

Wednesday, October 5, 2016
11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. ET
Register now

Join CATIE for a webinar with Dr. Darrell Tan from St. Michael’s Hospital, and other service providers and community members, who will speak about PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) implementation and access in Canada.

In February 2016, Health Canada approved the daily use of the anti-HIV drug Truvada for reducing the risk of the sexual transmission of HIV. A growing demand for PrEP has raised questions from both service providers and the communities they serve, and these will be addressed during the webinar:

  • What is PrEP and how effective is it?
  • Who is PrEP for?
  • How can clients access it?
  • How can access to PrEP be improved for people who need it?

The webinar will include a live Q&A with the webinar presenters: Adam Cook, CTAC; Kevin Moroso of Daily Xtra and Positive Living Magazine; Andrea Sharp, Toronto General Hospital; Peter Stephenson, AIDS Committee of Toronto; and Dr. Tan.

The CATIE Blog: New post – The Canadian Consensus Statement. Sign it. Use it. I have and here’s why – by Glenn Betteridge

The CATIE Blog is our way of bringing more people into the conversation about HIV and hepatitis C. Check out our recent posts:

CATIE Board member Darren Lauscher honoured with UBC Award

CATIE congratulates Darren Lauscher, a Pacific Region Director for CATIE and a member of CATIE’s Board of Directors since 2012, for his being one of two recipients of the 2016 R. Paul Kerston Community Educator Award. Presented by the UBC Health department of the University of British Columbia, the award recognizes Lauscher for his “extensive involvement and dedication to advancing health education from a patient’s perspective, and the impact [his] mentorship has had on the students Lauscher mentored at the university.” An Awards Reception will take place in the Spring term of 2017.

Sign on to the Canadian Consensus Statement today.

The success of Canada's HIV response depends on you!

The Statement, created with input from communities across the country, promotes greater integration and innovation in policy and programs to better support people throughout the continuum of HIV prevention and treatment services. Its principles include:

  • promoting the health, well-being and human rights of people living with HIV;
  • removing barriers to HIV treatment access;
  • providing access to a range of HIV testing options and service delivery approaches; and
  • increasing access to PrEP and PEP.

Please take a few minutes and sign on to the Canadian Consensus Statement on the Health and Prevention Benefits of HIV Antiretroviral Medications and HIV Testing.

By working together, as individuals and organizations, we can create a shared understanding of how we can effectively respond to the continuing HIV epidemic.

Calling all CATIE members: Vote for your new Board of Directors/ Attend the Annual Meeting

The voting period is now on (until October 7). You will have received an email, requesting your participation. We urge all individual and organizational members to take a few minutes and participate in this important election.

… and we invite you to join us for the CATIE Annual Meeting (AM), October 14, 8:00 a.m., at the Delta Toronto Hotel. Registration for the 2016 AM is free and available online at

We look forward to seeing those of you who are able to attend.

CPPN declares its endorsement of U=U (Undetectable = Uninfectious)

The Canadian Positive People Network (CPPN) reports that it “shares in the widespread belief and optimism that the U=U findings will transform our shared HIV prevention efforts. With enthusiastic endorsement, the CPPN will continue to work with its partners in Canada and around the world to champion the U=U findings; and to end stigma, discrimination, and criminalization of HIV here at home and worldwide.” U=U, or Undetectable equals Uninfectious, refers to the findings that indicate that ART and an undetectable viral load is a highly effective strategy to prevent the sexual transmission of HIV.

CPPN member and Editor of, Bob Leahy, has covered the issue extensively and has publicly endorsed the U=U findings; CATIE also published an article related to the fact that updated results from two studies continue to show that antiretroviral treatment and an undetectable viral load is a highly effective HIV prevention strategy.

Highlights from our Partners

BCCDC launches new health database for HCV and HIV

The BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) has created a health database to assess and monitor disease burden, co-infections, disparities in testing and care, healthcare utilization, treatment uptake and completion, effectiveness of treatments, cost of hepatitis C-related illness and the impact of treatment on illness-related costs and outcomes.

The BCCDC believes that the tool – a collection of information, all anonymous, on laboratory test results, doctor visits, hospital stays, cancer treatment, and prescription drug information – will be able to better measure health outcomes and assess the effectiveness of prevention, care and treatment services for those with HCV or HIV.

Concordia University Lecture – Early AIDS activism in Montreal

Thursday, October 27, 2016, 7:00 p.m.

Gary Kinsman and Alexis Shotwell will share some of the unremembered stories of early AIDS activism in Montreal, with a particular focus on the work of two groups – Réaction SIDA and ACT UP Montreal. These groups made significant interventions at the Fifth International AIDS Conference in Montreal in 1989, fought for treatment access and funding, wrote and distributed explicit safer sex materials in French and English, established Parc de l’Espoir and engaged in some of the earliest organizing around women and AIDS. Lecture in English only. One of the lectures in the 2016-17 Concordia University Community Lecture Series on HIV/AIDS.

Canadian Working Group on HIV and Rehabilitation (CWGHR) launches its new look

CWGHR will unveil its new brand name at a special reception taking place on September 23, the day before their 2016 Forum. For more information, click here.

Bright ideas!

SafeSpace London: Carving out space

September 2016

SafeSpace is a support centre, run by volunteers, for sex workers and women in crisis in London, Ontario. The drop-in resource centre is currently open Mondays and Tuesdays from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. and staffed by over 20 volunteers (people who have lived experience of sex work, poverty or homelessness, and students and professors of criminology, social work and other helping professions). Although the centre is only open two nights a week, the volunteers are occasionally available outside of these hours for court appearances or other requirements. Volunteers build one-on-one relationships with their clients and their schedules vary according to the needs of each woman. SafeSpace also provides harm reduction kits, clothes, makeup and houseware goods.

A group of women with various degrees of experience in sex work and social services created SafeSpace seven years ago, out of the recognition that there was an increased stigmatization of sex workers in their city. They wanted to create a space where marginalized women could meet up and make positive connections. The centre is regularly accessed by 15 to 20 women, with two to three new women coming in each night. “I’m most proud of the relationship we have built with the women who come into the space and then later become volunteers and coordinators. Having been part of the organization since the beginning, I’ve seen that happen,” says Holly, one of the coordinators and founders.

The biggest obstacle in keeping SafeSpace open is securing funding and a volunteer force. “Since we are completely volunteer-run, it has been sometimes difficult to get the same amount of support within the community that other more accredited, incorporated organizations have access to,” says Holly. However, this is slowly changing with time. Over the years, SafeSpace has developed a good rapport with frontline workers and just recently it received a grant to provide digital literacy skills to the women who use its services. Holly wants to see the centre grow even more. Above all, she would like to incorporate SafeSpace so it can increase its hours of operation and provide even more services.

If you are interested in learning more about this program, click here.