Prevention in Focus

Fall 2019 

In case you missed it…

Recent Canadian and international online resources for service providers.

CATIE resources

The epidemiology of HIV in females

This fact sheet provides a snapshot of the HIV epidemic among females in Canada. It is one of a series of fact sheets on the epidemiology of HIV and hepatitis C.

The epidemiology of HIV in youth

This fact sheet provides a summary of the HIV epidemic among youth in Canada. It is one of a series of fact sheets that provide easy to use epidemiological information.

PrEP resources and tools

This collection contains resources and tools to help frontline service providers meet their own PrEP educational needs and the needs of their clients. It includes guidelines, program models, and other resources to inform the integration of PrEP into programs and services, as well as client resources to help service providers communicate PrEP information to clients.

PrEP Q & A

This document provides answers to frequently asked questions about PrEP. It includes PrEP basics, common concerns about PrEP, drug safety and interactions, how PrEP works in the body, special considerations for specific populations, and how to access PrEP. It is primarily intended for service providers but can also be given to clients who are looking for in-depth information.

Is PrEP Right for Me?

Service providers can use this pocket card to help clients assess their risk for HIV and decide whether they should talk to a healthcare provider about getting pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP).

Did you know there’s a pill that can help prevent HIV?

This poster provides basic information about pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for people who may not have heard of it. It can be used in medical clinics or community-based agencies to raise awareness about this HIV prevention medication.

Can't Pass It On: Lessons from the United Kingdom

This webinar explored how Terrence Higgins Trust developed and delivered its “Can’t Pass It On” campaign in the United Kingdom, and the lessons we can apply here in Canada.


Missed opportunities for early HIV diagnosis in British Columbia

A recent study from British Columbia found cases of late HIV diagnoses in a cohort of 2,119 people diagnosed with HIV between 2001 and 2014. 14% had reported HIV-related symptoms up to five years prior to their diagnosis.

New research finds heating drug use equipment linked to decreased HIV risk

A recent study was conducted in London, Ontario to understand the context of a recent HIV outbreak among people who inject drugs. Researchers found that HIV was transmitted through the sharing of drug use equipment and that heating the equipment reduces the risk of infection.

Low rate of drug resistance to medications used for pre-exposure prophylaxis in a Canadian cohort of people with HIV

A recent study examining a large cohort of people with HIV on treatment in Canada found that resistance to tenofovir and emtricitabine in this group was low. This low rate of tenofovir and emtricitabine resistance provides reassurance that potential exposure to HIV that is resistant to PrEP drugs among people on PrEP in Canada would likewise be low.

Programming Connection resources

Fostering Open eXpression among Youth (FOXY)

FOXY is an HIV and STI prevention program developed by and for Northern and Indigenous Canadian youth in the NWT to foster more open expression and communication regarding sexuality and sexual health. The intervention includes seven workshops of between one and two hours each, which are conducted over one or two days. Workshops are led by trained facilitators and peer leaders with expertise in sexual health and arts-based education.

keepSIX supervised consumption service

keepSIX is a supervised consumption service (SCS) in Toronto, located at the South Riverdale Community Health Centre (SRCHC). keepSIX is staffed by a multidisciplinary team including registered nurses, health promoters and harm reduction workers. It is part of a multi-service, multidisciplinary community health centre and is an extension of the COUNTERfit Harm Reduction Program, which offers a variety of harm reduction services.

Overdose Prevention Site at St. Paul’s Hospital

The overdose prevention site (OPS) at St. Paul’s Hospital (operated by Providence Health Care) offers a non-judgmental and safer place to use drugs in the West End of Vancouver. In addition to overdose management and monitoring, the OPS offers a variety of harm reduction services (e.g., sterile injection supplies, safe disposal of needles, drug testing). The OPS is located on the grounds of St. Paul’s Hospital and serves hospital inpatients as well as members of the West End community.

Bringing STBBI testing to people who use drugs

Nine Circles Community Health Centre (Nine Circles) has integrated a registered nurse (RN) within a harm reduction supply distribution room for one hour per day, four days a week. The goal of the initiative is to increase testing for STBBIs including HIV, hepatitis C, syphilis, and gonorrhea for people who inject drugs.

Supervised inhalation site at ARCHES

ARCHES (AIDS Outreach Community Harm Reduction Education Support) has opened North America’s first regulated supervised inhalation site (with safer smoking facilities) in Lethbridge, Alberta. The safer smoking facilities (SSFs) are part of a larger supervised consumption site (SCS) that offers all consumption options (i.e., injection, snorting and ingestion).

Harm reduction dispensing units

Harm reduction dispensing units (HRDUs) are machines that distribute safer drug use supplies (e.g., sterile needles, pipes). The objectives of the HRDUs are to increase access to harm reduction materials and to reduce the sharing and reuse of supplies among people who use drugs, which can lead to a decrease in HIV and hepatitis C infections. Ottawa Public Health coordinates the HRDU program in Ottawa, which complements the harm reduction services offered by several community-based health organizations.

Check Hep C

Check Hep C is a community-based program in New York City focused on linkage to care and patient navigation for hepatitis C treatment for high-risk populations, including people who use drugs. This program is based out of community health centres (CHCs) and needle and syringe programs (NSPs). Patient navigators support individuals through the testing, diagnosis and treatment process.

One-Step PrEP

The One-Step PrEP program provides access to pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) through a pharmacist-managed PrEP clinic located in a community pharmacy. Use of the model resulted in high PrEP initiation rates.

Canadian resources

Understanding HIV estimates

This summary from the Public Health Agency of Canada explains key concepts behind the estimation of the number of people with HIV in Canada.

Report on hepatitis B and C in Canada: 2016

This report from the Public Health Agency of Canada summarizes surveillance data on cases and rates of hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in Canada, reported from 2007 to 2016.

Report on hepatitis B and C in Canada: 2017

This report from the Public Health Agency of Canada summarizes surveillance data on cases and rates of hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in Canada, reported from 2008 to 2017.

Hep yes, hepatitis C can be treated and cured

Infographic from the Public Health Agency of Canada

Hepatitis C virus (HCV): Screening and testing for health professionals

Infographic from the Public Health Agency of Canada.

Hepatitis in Canada: 2017 surveillance data

Infographic from the Public Health Agency of Canada.

Economic evaluations of pre- and post- exposure prophylaxis (PrEP and PEP) for HIV

This research summary from the Ontario HIV Treatment Network reviews literature on the cost-effectiveness of HIV pre- and post-exposure prophylaxis.

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) sexual transmission risk with bacterial sexually transmitted infection (STI) co-infection

This evidence brief from Public Health Ontario presents findings on the impact of bacterial STI co-infection (chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis) on the sexual transmission risk of HIV.

Canadians are still reluctant to get tested for sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections (STBBI)

This infographic from the Public Health Agency of Canada summarizes attitudes and beliefs that deter Canadians from getting tested for STBBIs. It also provides tips for health care providers who would like to discuss STBBI testing with their patients.

Tips for STI screening, treatment and follow up

The Public Health Agency of Canada has developed an information sheet for healthcare providers - Tips for STI Screening, Treatment and Follow-up - which summarises the Canadian Guidelines on Sexually Transmitted Infections recommendations for chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis.

Alberta guidelines for post-exposure management and prophylaxis: HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C and sexually transmitted infections

This document from the Government of Alberta provides guidance for the most appropriate use of post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) to reduce the risk of transmitting Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), Hepatitis B (HBV), Hepatitis C (HCV), and other sexually transmitted infections (STI) following a blood or bodily fluid exposure. The scope of this document includes both non-occupational (community) exposures (including those through sexual assault) and occupational exposures.

La prophylaxie préexposition au virus de l'immunodéficience humaine : Guide pour les professionnels de la santé du Québec

These guidelines review the evidence supporting PrEP and provide recommendations on PrEP use in different populations including men who have sex with men, heterosexuals, and people who use injection drugs.

Blueprint to inform hepatitis C elimination efforts in Canada

The purpose of the Blueprint is to define what needs to be done as a public health response to achieve HCV elimination in Canada. High level objectives in the areas of prevention, testing and diagnosis, and care and treatment are broken down into measurable and time-bound targets for meeting the WHO elimination goals. Specific considerations are raised for priority populations, groups that are disproportionately affected by HCV and/or have challenges in accessing HCV services.

HIV in pregnancy: Identification of intrapartum and perinatal HIV exposures

This updated position statement from the Canadian Pediatric Society provides recommendations on the identification of newborns with perinatal exposure to HIV.

Canadian guidelines for sexual health education

The 2019 Canadian guidelines for sexual health education provides a framework for the development and evaluation of comprehensive evidence-based sexual health education in Canada.

Overdue for a change: Scaling up supervised consumption services in Canada

This report from the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network documents a research project that was undertaken in 2018 to explore the current state of supervised consumption services (SCS) in Canada, to monitor legal and policy changes affecting SCS, and to identify facilitators and barriers faced by current and future SCS operators.

The criminalization of HIV non-disclosure in Canada: Current status and the need for change

This document from the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network provides an overview of the current laws and policies governing HIV non-disclosure in Canada.

HIV criminalization

This video from the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network presents a summary of the criminalization of people living with HIV in Canada.

International resources

HIV vaccines: An introductory factsheet

This updated introductory two-page document from AVAC describes HIV vaccines research and reviews key developments in the field.

Health, rights and drugs: harm reduction, decriminalization and zero discrimination for people who use drugs

This report from UNAIDS examines the global response to drug use and advocates for a public health and human rights approach.