Implementing the "early" HIV test in Vancouver: from acute diagnosis to undetectable identity
What is the impact of “early” HIV testing and diagnosis on the lives of gay men? From 2009 to 2013, the CIHR Team in the Study of Acute HIV Infection in Gay Men set out to explore this question using a new HIV testing technology that can detect HIV very early after infection (during the acute phase).
Nucleic Acid Amplification Testing (NAAT) reduces the window period in which HIV cannot be detected, allowing for early diagnosis and treatment at a time where HIV is more likely to be passed on to someone else. Access to and promotion of pooled NAAT is an important public health intervention for gay men, leading to more frequent testing, earlier diagnosis and changes in behaviour which reduce the chance of passing HIV to others.
Data from interviews, questionnaires and HIV testing specimens were used to understand how this new testing technology affected the lived experiences of gay men diagnosed with early or recent infections, as well as gay men who tested HIV-negative. Register for this webinar to learn more about the results of this study.
About the presenters
Dr. Mark Gilbert is a community medicine specialist and the director of the Applied Epidemiology Unit at the Ontario HIV Treatment Network, where he leads the Ontario HIV Epidemiology and Surveillance Initiative which aims to understand, monitor and translate HIV epidemiologic trends in Ontario. Mark’s research areas of interest include testing for HIV and other STIs, internet-based approaches to sexual health promotion, sexual health literacy and gay men's sexual health. Mark is an assistant professor (status only) at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto.
Dr. Daniel Grace is an assistant professor at the University of Toronto, Dalla Lana School of Public Health. Daniel is a sociologist who conducts research related to the social determinants of health, HIV and STI prevention strategies, and the sexual health of gay men. Daniel conducted his postdoctoral research at the University of British Columbia and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.