HIV and AIDS
Ontario's response to HIV/AIDS
Ontario's coordinated response to HIV/AIDS includes policy development and program delivery. The province spends approximately $60 million a year on HIV/AIDS-related initiatives. This does not include physician billings to OHIP or HIV/AIDS drugs.
- The Ontario government provides funding for more than 90 programs and services across the province to deliver HIV/AIDS prevention, education and support programs for those infected and affected by HIV/AIDS, and those most at risk of acquiring HIV/AIDS in Ontario. For contact information visit the Ontario AIDS Network website.
- Ontario has developed HIV/AIDS prevention strategies for people at highest risk of acquiring HIV/AIDS, including :
- gay and bisexual men
- African and Caribbean Ontarians
- Aboriginal populations
- people who use injection drugs, and
- women who form a part of the above groups or engage in HIV risk activity with them (in development)
- Anonymous HIV testing (AT) is offered at 50 locations in communities across Ontario. These sites offer pre- and post-test counselling that includes information on risk reduction, partner notification and referral. For an AT testing site near you, contact the AIDS and Sexual Health Info Line at 1-800-668-2437. In Toronto: 416-392-2437.
- Ontario has introduced rapid, point of care (POC) HIV testing that can give test results in one visit. Anonymous HIV testing sites, some community health centres and public health units' sexually transmitted infections clinics provide this service. For a POC testing site near you contact the AIDS Hotline at 1-800-668-2437.
- A prenatal HIV testing program encourages health care practitioners (physicians, midwives, nurse practitioners) to offer HIV testing, with informed consent, to all pregnant women in Ontario. The program funds prenatal HIV testing research, and a communications campaign to promote awareness of HIV among pregnant women, physicians and other HIV test providers.
- The province provides funding for the Ontario HIV Treatment Network, an independent multi-stakeholder agency that funds and supports research in a number of HIV/AIDS-related areas.
- Seventeen HIV clinics across the province provide multi-disciplinary care for people living with HIV/AIDS. Some clinics provide specialized services such as pediatric HIV/AIDS (Hospital for Sick Children and Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario), psychiatric services (Mt. Sinai Hospital), and homeless/street involved people (Oasis program, Sandy Hill Community Health Centre).
- The AIDS and Sexual Health Info Line provides province-wide information and anonymous counselling, as well as referral to community service agencies that deal with HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted infections, safer sex options and harm reduction in intravenous drug use.
- Fife House provides supportive housing for people with HIV/AIDS and programs that provide volunteer-based in-home hospice care, as well as a supportive housing program for people with HIV who have mental health concerns.