Prevention in Focus

Spring 2015 

Editor’s letter

By Zak Knowles

HIV prevention within serodiscordant couples: A changing paradigm

Serodiscordant couples are often thought to be at “high risk” of HIV transmission. We explore how new HIV prevention options now make it easier to prevent HIV transmission for couples in serodiscordant relationships.

By James Wilton

Views from the front lines: Counselling serodiscordant couples

Three service providers tell us about their views and approaches to counselling serodiscordant couples.

Rapid point-of-care HIV testing: A review of the evidence

Testing is the first and most crucial step in the HIV treatment cascade. Rapid point-of-care (POC) HIV testing allows people to test and learn their HIV status during the same visit. A review of the scientific literature found that rapid POC testing is an effective and acceptable strategy.

By Logan Broeckaert and Laurel Challacombe

Harm reduction behind bars: Prison-based needle and syringe programs

HIV and HCV are serious public health issues in Canadian prisons. We review current international prison-based needle and syringe program best practices, models and approaches to reduce transmission of these viruses, and suggest ways to support their introduction in Canada.

By Emily van der Meulen and Sandra Ka Hon Chu

Changing the Narrative: Why HIV prevention work in Canada needs to embrace HIV treatment

UNAIDS has proposed an ambitious set of targets for the global scale-up of HIV treatment. The strategy emphazises that the tremendous potential of HIV treatment is not being realized. We explore the crucial role HIV prevention work can play in this “new narrative on HIV treatment.”

By Tim Rogers

The state of HIV testing in Canada: A systematic review

Early diagnosis is critical to improving health and reducing new HIV transmissions. A systematic review explored the state of HIV testing among different Canadian populations.

By James Wilton

Research Update: Could routine testing help reduce the number of people who are unaware they are HIV positive?

One way to improve HIV testing to reduce the number of undiagnosed HIV infections in Canada is to add the offer of an HIV test to routine medical care. Routine testing was very successful at diagnosing HIV infections and then linking people to care in two U.S. healthcare settings.

By Laurel Challacombe

Research Update: What can we learn from an American HIV testing campaign?

National HIV Testing Day (NHTD) in the U.S. increases the uptake of tests and number of new HIV-positive test results. NHTD also significantly increases the percentage of HIV tests in high-risk populations. A similar national HIV testing day in Canada could potentially increase the number of people who test for HIV.

By Logan Broeckaert

International resources for prevention with gay men

Does your prevention work with gay men need some inspiration? Resources, tools and campaigns from different countries demonstrate how organizations have tried to motivate and educate gay men around HIV and hepatitis C risk, testing and prevention.

By Erica Lee

PrEP use in the “real world”: Results from the iPrEX open label extension

The results of the iPrEX open label extension trial (iPrEX OLE) provide important insight into the “open label” use of pre-exposure prophylaxix (PrEP) and are the first to demonstrate that PrEP can prevent new HIV infections in a “real world” setting.

By James Wilton

Ten things you may not know about HIV today

The science of HIV is constantly evolving, and what we knew (or thought we knew) just a few years ago is either incorrect, incomplete or in need of an upgrade. Every year we learn more about the virus, and research keeps giving us new tools to prevent, test and treat it.

The Programming Connection: Programs and resources

Read about selected Canadian programs that use novel approaches to improve access to HIV prevention, testing, treatment, care and support.

Essential resources

What are some of the key recent Canadian and international HIV and hepatitis C resources?

Prevention resources

A selection of prevention resources available from CATIE’s Ordering Centre.


CATIE would like to thank the following people for their contribution to this issue of Prevention in Focus: Logan Broeckaert, Laurel Challacombe, Tsion Demeke Abate, Laurie Edmiston, Heidi Exner, Riyas Fadel, Shalene Ha, Colm Holmes, Brittany Howlett, Ed Jackson, Sandra Ka Hon Chu, Zak Knowles, Andrea Langlois, Bob Leahy, Erica Lee, Zack Marshall, Alexandra Martin-Roche, John McCullagh, Ali Murphy, Dana Paquette, Mark Randall, Tim Rogers, Sandra Sasaki, Carol Strike, Len Tooley, Emily van der Meulen, Matthew Watson, James Wilton.

Editorial team: Laurel Challacombe, Logan Broeckaert, Zak Knowles.

The production of Prevention in Focus has been made possible through financial contributions from the Public Health Agency of Canada.