The CATIE Exchange

The CATIE Exchange - February 8, 2017 

Highlights in this Issue

  • CATIE remembers Glen Brown who passed away January 27, 2017
  • Peg-interferon discontinued, Read more about it in HepCInfo Updates
  • Sexual and Reproductive Health Week is from February 12-18
  • CATIE Blog post − Three reasons why CATIE supports U=U for sexual transmission
  • Bright Ideas presents Community Voicemail, a program run by Lu’ma Native Housing Society

New Resources

Prevention in Focus: Issue 15

CATIE’s spotlight on programming and research. In this issue:

Read more!

TreatmentUpdate 219

CATIE, 2017

TreatmentUpdate is CATIE's digest on cutting-edge developments in HIV and hepatitis C research and treatment.

In this issue:

HIV cure research

Mental health, substance use and HIV

Download the PDF

Undetectable viral load and HIV sexual transmission

CATIE, 2017

Studies have shown that HIV-positive people who are engaged in regular healthcare, are on treatment and have an ongoing undetectable viral load do not pass HIV to their sexual partners. This client resource explains what an undetectable viral load is, why it is important for both a person’s health and HIV prevention, and how someone can know they have an ongoing undetectable viral load.

Download the PDF

HIV in Canada: Surveillance summary tables, 2014-2015

Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), 2016

The Public Health Agency of Canada publishes HIV/AIDS surveillance data annually in the HIV/AIDS in Canada: Surveillance Report.  Due to on-going enhancements to surveillance infrastructure, this year a set of surveillance summary tables is provided as an overview of HIV case surveillance in Canada for 2014−2015, instead of a full report.  Specifically, these tables present the number of HIV cases in Canada for 2014−15, by province/territory, sex, age group, exposure category and race/ethnicity. The number of perinatally HIV-exposed infants and current status are also presented.

Read it online

Summary: Measuring Canada's Progress on the 90-90-90 HIV Targets

PHAC, 2016

The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and the World Health Organization have established global targets that will generate momentum towards the elimination of AIDS as a public health threat by 2030. Canada supports these targets, including the 90-90-90 targets, that by 2020, 90% of all people living with HIV know their status, 90% of those diagnosed receive antiretroviral treatment, and 90% of those on treatment achieve viral suppression. Reporting on these targets supports national responses to HIV/AIDS, promotes the use of data in new ways to guide HIV prevention and care efforts, and helps to identify gaps and opportunities for intervention.

This report provides an update on Canada's progress towards reaching the UNAIDS 90-90-90 targets.

Read it online

HIV in Canada: A primer for service providers

CATIE, Updated in 2017

HIV in Canada is an introduction to HIV for people working on the front line. It provides an overview of the HIV landscape in Canada, including the epidemiology of HIV; trends in diseases related to HIV; and trends and issues in prevention, treatment, care and support for people with or at risk for HIV.

The purpose of the resource is to provide some starting points for dialogue among national, regional and local stakeholders in HIV to support strategic HIV planning and decision-making in Canada. It is a living document and is regularly reviewed and updated to reflect current knowledge of HIV in Canada.

Access it online


We remember Glen Brown

Early Friday morning, January 27, our dear friend and comrade Glen Wesley Brown passed away peacefully in the company and care of friends after a battle with liver disease.

Glen will be profoundly missed by everyone who knew and loved him.

HepCinfo Update 8.2: Peg-interferon discontinued, patient navigators improve access to care, hepatitis C cure reduces serious liver problems and death

New point of care hepatitis C antibody test approved in Canada

B.C. study finds women need help sticking to treatment

CATIE updates

Webinar presented by CBRC and BC’s gbMSM Health Network, in partnership with CATIE: Generations, Life Course & Gay Men’s Health: Findings from the 2014/15 National Sex Now Survey

February 28, 2017
10-11 am PST / 1-2 pm EST

Over 8,000 participants completed the 2014/15 iteration of the Sex Now survey (SN15), making it the largest survey of sexual minority men in Canada. The theme explored for SN15 was Gay Generations: Life Course and Gay Men’s Health, which provided an unprecedented opportunity to learn more from Canadian men about life course influences on health and prevention, and generational differences in men’s health behaviours and outcomes.

Given substantial knowledge gaps surrounding the life course of sexual minority men and related health outcomes, these findings will be relevant for those interested in learning more about important generational differences (and similarities) and how we can best serve sexual minority men of all ages.

Presenters: Dr. Nathan Lachowsky, Assistant Professor in the School of Public Health and Social Policy at the University of Victoria, and Jeff Morgan, “Investigaytors” Coordinator at the CBRC.

Register today!

CATIE declares: “Undetectable equals Untransmittable” (U=U)

On January 13, CATIE endorsed the Consensus Statement of the Prevention Access Campaign that people living with HIV on HIV treatment who have had an undetectable viral load for more than six months and continue to have an undetectable viral load, do not sexually transmit HIV, with or without the use of condoms. CATIE signed on to the Statement in celebration of the revolutionary advances in HIV science that now enhance people’s participation in safe, sex-positive relationships.

Laurie Edmiston spoke about CATIE’s endorsement of U=U in her CATIE blog post and referred to this news as “the most significant development in the HIV world since the advent of effective combination therapy 20 years ago.”

CATIE subsequently published a second blog post outlining the reasons why we endorse U=U.

Two studies, HPTN 052 and the PARTNER study, published their final findings in 2016, reinforcing the effectiveness of a sustained undetectable viral load. The latter study followed 548 heterosexual and 340 gay male serodiscordant couples who had regular unprotected sex while the HIV-positive partner had an undetectable viral load. Despite over 58,000 anal and vaginal sex acts, no HIV transmissions occurred between the partners.

In order to maintain a healthy and safe sexual life, CATIE emphasizes the importance of medication adherence and regular healthcare appointments to check HIV viral load. Regular health visits will also keep other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in check. The CATIE statement on the use of antiretroviral treatment to maintain an undetectable viral load to prevent the sexual transmission of HIV contains more information about HIV viral loads and STIs in relation to this important prevention strategy.

New Programming Connection evidence briefs: Two programs assess who benefits from health navigation services

CATIE has published two new evidence briefs. Both review a single study on a specific HIV or hepatitis C program and assess who benefits from health navigation services:

Check Hep C High hepatitis C cure rates occur among people with hepatitis C when paired with a health navigator.

Project HOPE – Intensive health navigation may not overcome barriers to care for people living with HIV who use substances.

For more information about Programming Connection, please email Logan Broeckaert or call 416-203-7122 ext. 238.

The CATIE Blog

New blog post: Travail du sexe des hommes et des personnes trans : décriminaliser et défaire les préjugés (in French only) By Jonathan Bacon

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

CATIE Survey: How are we doing?

Are you a frontline service provider doing HIV or hepatitis C work? We would love to hear from you!

Please complete our 15-minute online survey and tell us how CATIE is doing. Your comments will help us evaluate our services and work to enhance them. All responses are anonymous.

Mark your calendars for the CATIE Forum 2017!

CATIE will hold its next CATIE Forum in Toronto on November 23-24, 2017. Details concerning the program will be forthcoming in the months ahead. We hope you and your organization can make the Forum part of your 2017 plans.

Highlights from our Partners

Institute on Governance (IOG): Board Leadership workshop series

The IOG has developed a series of modules incorporating core competencies training for volunteer directors with Not-For-Profit organizations. This program will teach the roles and responsibilities associated with being on a board, the key skill sets required to be effective and how to build and maintain effective relationships. For more information, please contact Brian Huskins.

Universities Without Walls: New Tools for Community-Based Research

Universities Without Walls has partnered with the Faculty of Education at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) to launch a professional certificate program called Tools for Community-Based Research. The course will run from February 6 - March 31, 2017. You can find the curriculum overview and registration information here. A short video introducing the course is available here.

Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS): A virtual stakeholder consultation

UNAIDS will convene a Global Review Panel to address the Joint Programme’s challenges: to make recommendations on how to make UNAIDS sustainable and fit for purpose. To make this process as inclusive as possible, the leadership is holding a Virtual Stakeholder Consultation. The online consultation is open to all, and invites participants to engage in online discussions on several key questions. For more information, visit this link.

Association francophone pour le savoir (ACFAS): Call for proposals for “ L’engagement des patients et des acteurs-clés dans la recherche sur le VIH : méthodes et retombées” (in French only)

ACFAS will be holding a forum, in French only, and are looking for proposals. Their forum will look at the experiences of key HIV stakeholders like patients, clinicians and service providers, and examine the impact of their methods and initiatives on HIV research. The deadline for proposals, which can be sent to David Lessard, is February 10, 2017. Visit this link for more information about this call for proposals.

Action Canada for Sexual Health & Rights: SRH Week 2017 is from February 12-18

This year, Sexual and Reproductive Health Awareness Week (SRH Week) will take place from February 12-18 with the theme: Ready for some pillow talk? On February 12, they will be launching a quick reference book for healthcare providers and a blog series spotlighting healthcare providers making a difference. For campaign graphics, social media tools, PDF copies of the poster and more, visit

Interagency Coalition on AIDS and Development (ICAD): Call for applications

ICAD is looking for applications from consultants to conduct background review and facilitate the development of a renewed strategic plan for ICAD for the 2017-2020 period. For more information on this assignment, click on this link. Applications should be submitted by February 17, 2017.

HIV & AIDS Legal Clinic Ontario (HALCO): Requesting feedback about their services

HALCO is developing a strategic plan that will guide their activities over the next three to five years. They would like to hear from people living with HIV through this survey before February 15, 2017. If you have any questions, please contact HALCO at 416-340-7790, ext. 4047 or by email.

Bright ideas!

Community Voice Mail: Connecting at-risk people to the services they need

February 2017

Lu’ma Native Housing Society, a Vancouver-based Aboriginal services organization with a medical centre that provides HIV and Hep C treatment, has been running a successful communication program called Community Voice Mail (or CVM for short) for the last seven years. CVM is offered by partnered agencies that work directly with people living with HIV and Hep C – places such as the Positive Living Society and the Pender Clinic. It sets people up with telephone numbers so they can be reached by potential employers, secure housing, schedule medical appointments or connect with friends and family.

Some people who use the service are at risk of or are living with HIV and Hep C. More than half of the participants last year identified as homeless and over one-third are Indigenous, some participants having experienced domestic violence, incarceration or the foster care system.

The program started in Vancouver with 500 telephone numbers, but over the years grew to 1,700 numbers. Three years ago, Lu’ma decided to launch this much-needed service in Prince George and Calgary, where there are 500 numbers in use in each city.

There are two people who run CVM in Vancouver and 121 partner agencies all around the Greater Vancouver Regional District – places like community, health, youth or housing centres, where people sign up for the program. Before getting assigned a phone number, clients are asked to meet with caseworkers to set goals. A caseworker can then work with the individual member to help them achieve their personal goals.

Employment is the number-one identified goal, but the service is more than about getting a job. It brings people out of isolation and allows them to be self-sufficient. Moreover, Community Voice Mail fights poverty stigma. “When a client puts the phone number of their shelter or transition house on their résumé or housing application, that potential employer or landlord hangs up when they call with what would have been good news,” says James Foster who is the Program Manager. “Poverty stigma is very real and CVM is the tool to bridge this.”

CVM also broadcasts a fun and helpful community update that is recorded and sent out to all members every week. It informs members of social events, cultural gatherings, free educational opportunities, extreme weather advisories and health alerts allowing people to stay safe and feel connected to their communities.

CVM hopes to launch its program in 2017 at the Aboriginal Health and Wellness Centre in Winnipeg.

For more information about this program, contact James Foster at 604-876-0811, ext. 341 or click here.