HIV in Canada: A primer for service providers

New Directions in Program Development Based on Integration of HIV Prevention and Treatment

Key Points

  • HIV prevention services are being implemented in new settings. New approaches to HIV testing are being implemented.
  • Care and support services are being expanded.

Several new directions in HIV programming are being explored nationally and internationally.

HIV prevention services are being implemented in new settings, such as mental health services, services for newcomers, and primary care. While condom distribution, needle exchange and behavioural counselling form the core of HIV prevention services, several other prevention technologies are being used, including treatment as prevention, pre-exposure prophylaxis and post-exposure prophylaxis. Enhanced prevention and support services are being developed for specific audiences, such as couples, people living with HIV and people at ongoing high risk of HIV transmission. Expanded risk-reduction counselling is also being implemented by many organizations in light of new research on HIV transmission.

New approaches to HIV testing include the use of new testing technologies, such as rapid testing, and new settings for testing, such as community-based testing and the routine offer of HIV tests in medical settings. Other new directions include couples-based testing and internet-based platforms for HIV and other STI screening, and for anonymous partner notification. Integrating HIV testing with testing for other infections that share a similar transmission route, such as sexually transmitted infections and hepatitis C, is also being used. Since HIV testing is the bridge between prevention and treatment, service providers are creating more robust linkages to further services for both those who test positive and those who test negative.

Care and support services are being developed for people who are experiencing periods of enhanced physical or emotional need, such as support to people living with HIV around disclosure, support to gay men who are coming out, and support to women and families during pregnancy. Peer-based support for people living with HIV is another area of program development, including support to navigate the healthcare system, support for treatment decisions, and adherence support. Care and support for long-term wellness strategies, including chronic disease prevention and mental health promotion, are also being explored.

Resources

CATIE Forum 2013: New Science, New Directions in HIV & HCV: Final Report

CATIE Forum Webcast Archive – CATIE Forum 2013: New Science, New Directions in HIV & HCV

Sources

  1. CATIE. National deliberative dialogue on integrated approaches to HIV treatment and prevention: meeting report. 2013. Available from: http://www.catie.ca/sites/default/files/National-Deliberative-Dialogue-on-Integrated-Approaches-to-HIV-Treatment-and-Prevention_05312012.pdf.
  2. CATIE. CATIE Forum New Science, New Directions in HIV and HCV – meeting report. 2013. Available from: http://www.catie.ca/sites/default/files/CATIE-Forum-Report-Final-Nov-2013.pdf.
  3. CATIE. Shifting the paradigm: The history of the Vancouver STOP HIV/AIDS Project. 2013. Available from: http://www.catie.ca/sites/default/files/stop_EN_2013_10_07.pdf