Special to the Tribune
So where do we go from here? Science has provided us with great insights into the relationship between treatment and prevention, as well as tools we can use to lessen the likelihood of HIV transmission.
We can also be heartened by the professional response to the HIV epidemic in this country. CATIE hosted a national conference in Toronto this past September where upwards of 300 frontline service providers and healthcare professionals considered issues pertaining to the integration of services– a testament to the growing interest in collaborating for an enhanced and more efficient service delivery.
The science and the realities of current on-the-ground service suggest what Canada must do:
• Employ new testing methods in more settings, by diverse care-providers;
• Scale up interventions in communities with particularly high prevalence of HIV infection;
• Provide the supports necessary to help engage individuals in treatment and care and to maximize their well-being;
• Muster resources, creativity and professional acumen to provide more integrated service delivery.
This will go a long way to reaching people, including the estimated 25 per cent of those with HIV in Canada who are undiagnosed, and to achieving that goal of ‘getting to zero.’
• HIV testing is free and confidential, please ask your healthcare provider for a test or phone the new TRU Health Centre. Room 1318, 1250 Western Ave, Ph: 250-392-8033
For more information, presentations and resources contact Sally Errey, Health Promotion & Communication, Boys & Girls Club of Williams Lake & District: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sally Errey is the Health Promotion & Communication Harm Reduction worker with the Williams Lake and District Boys and Girls Club.