HIV/AIDS

A program of research on optimizing trauma-informed practice in sexual, reproductive and HIV-related health services among marginalized women

Marginalized cisgender (cis) and transgender (trans) women experience high levels of gender-based violence, defined as violence perpetrated against someone based on their gender, gender expression, gender identity or perceived gender, as well as multiple forms of stigma. With the overarching aim to optimize trauma- and violence-informed approaches to enhance access to sexual and reproductive care and HIV prevention and treatment, this research program aims to work closely with marginalized cis and trans women to:

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2020

Optimizing PrEP and TasP adherence among substance using gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men

While increased access to HIV treatment and other health services has contributed to significant declines in HIV among several key populations in British Columbia (BC), it is estimated that as many as 1 in 6 gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (gbMSM) will be diagnosed with HIV in their lifetime.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2018

A program of research on criminalization of sexuality, HIV and incarceration among marginalized women

Marginalized women (trans inclusive) living with and affected by HIV are disproportionately criminalized. This research will establish an empirical evidence base that documents the lived-experiences of criminalization and incarceration among sex workers and women living with HIV. The ultimate goal is to inform evidence-based law reform and interventions to redress over criminalization and negative effects of incarceration.

The objectives of this research program are to:

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2018

Individual disposition and mHealth: Personalized care to improve outcomes

Today the greatest barrier to optimal health among persons living with HIV (PLWH) is antiretroviral (ART) adherence. The WelTel program uses weekly text-messages to improve ART adherence and HIV viral suppression among PLWH, but does not work for everyone. The literature states that personality traits and sense of purpose (dispositional traits) play a role in HIV-related outcomes. Measuring disposition is simple and rapid, and could be used to personalize adherence supports for clients with relative ease. 

Primary Investigator: 
Year: 
2018

Addressing HIV/AIDS, sexual health, and substance use among gay and other men who have sex with men

New HIV diagnoses are 71 times higher among gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (GBM) than other men in Canada. Since 2010, BC has adopted Treatment as Prevention (TasP) as a policy to increase HIV testing and engage more HIV-positive individuals in effective treatment to reduce transmission at a population level. However, the number of new diagnoses among GBM in BC has remained largely unchanged. Further, surveillance shows an increase of HIV diagnoses among the youngest birth cohorts of GBM.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2017

Improving substance use treatment trajectories for men who have sex with men

British Columbia is currently in the process of developing and implementing new evidence-based policies and clinical reforms to address problematic substance use, including new: (i) pharmacotherapy approaches (e.g., replacement therapies); (ii) clinical practice guidelines; and (iii) integrated service delivery models of care.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2017
Health Category: 

Understanding the aging HIV lung from dysbiosis to cell injury

Patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) are now living to older ages thanks to effective anti-HIV medicines. Despite these gains, many of them suffer from chronic lung disease that greatly impacts their ability to carry out their daily activities and impairs their quality of life. The type of lung disease they face is similar to what longtime smokers develop, a progressive narrowing of the airways and destruction of the lung. However, in HIV, the process appears to be accelerated and more severe.

Primary Investigator: 
Year: 
2017
Health Category: 

Integrating HCV and addiction treatment to improve individual and population HCV outcomes among people who inject drugs

Hepatitis C (HCV) remains a significant challenge that affects an estimated 60,000 British Columbians. Many more, in particular, people who inject drugs (PWID), remain highly vulnerable to HCV infection. Recently, there have been dramatic developments in the treatment of HCV with the arrival of direct acting antivirals (DAAs). These drug regimens are highly effective, offering vastly superior cure rates over past HCV treatments.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2015
Health Category: 

Wealthy and healthy: Socioeconomic status (SES) and syndemics

Co-infections with sexually transmitted infections and blood borne infections (STIBBI) are common among people living with HIV. They occur because of shared risk behaviours and common social conditions. It is a significant public health issue because groups of people at high risk of acquiring and transmitting infections can spread them more readily to the broader population.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2015

Women and the criminalization of HIV - An ethnographic investigation of gendered power relations, violence and access to health care

Women living with HIV/AIDS (WLWH) have been identified as a key population of interest by the Federal Initiative to address HIV/AIDS in Canada. An October 2012 ruling of the Supreme Court of Canada upheld the criminalization of HIV nondisclosure except where both a condom is used and the person has a 'low' HIV viral load.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2015

Implementation and ethical dimensions of scaling up HIV ‘Treatment as Prevention’: Examining the experiences of people who inject drugs

In 2010, BC launched the Seek and Treat for Optimal Prevention of HIV/AIDS (STOP HIV) program, which implements antiretroviral Treatment as Prevention (TasP) through enhanced HIV testing and universal treatment for HIV-positive individuals. The success of TasP at the population level will be challenging.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2015

Supporting women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights through Treatment as Prevention: Investigating the impact of structural and interpersonal violence on HIV and reproductive health inequities among women living with HIV in British Columbia

BC's ambitious "90-90-90" target for 2020 aims to ensure that: 1) 90 percent of people living with HIV/AIDS are aware of their status; 2) 90 percent of those diagnosed receive sustained treatment; and 3) 90 percent of those being treated achieve viral suppression. Access and uptake from all affected groups in BC would be needed to achieve this.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2015

Understanding the spatial and contextual inequities of health access and use by people living with or vulnerable to HIV in British Columbia

Access to health care services is critical to improving the health and well-being of people living with or vulnerable to HIV. Factors such as density of services or neighbourhood violence play a substantial role as barriers or facilitators to health care access in broader populations, but limited research is available to show that this is also true for people living with or vulnerable to HIV. This study will investigate, within BC:

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2015

Leading mHealth innovation and evidence in British Columbia: HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis patient engagement in care

In 2014, mobile phone subscriptions will outnumber the world’s population. Expanded mobile phone use presents a tremendous opportunity to engage patients in care, particularly those in remote or isolated situations.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2014
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