OTTAWA, Dec. 1, 2016 /CNW/ - HIV is a serious but preventable disease that continues to pose a public health risk for Canadians. Today, on World AIDS Day, the Honourable Jane Philpott, Minister of Health, announced Canada's progress in reaching the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) global targets for HIV – known as the 90-90-90 targets.
Canada strongly supports the UNAIDS 90-90-90 treatment targets, which aim to ensure that 90% of HIV positive people will know their status, that 90% of people who know their status receive treatment, and that 90% of those on treatment have suppressed viral loads. Achieving these global targets by 2020 will help to eliminate AIDS as a global public health threat by 2030.
In Canada, based on available data, an estimated 80% of HIV infected persons are diagnosed, 76% of those diagnosed are on treatment, and 89% of those on treatment have suppressed viral loads. This is the first time these estimates have been developed as a national aggregate.
In support of achieving the 90-90-90 targets, Minister Philpott also announced today an investment of over $3.5 million to fund the work of Canadian HIV/AIDS researchers who are engaged in cutting-edge biomedical and clinical research, as well as those working in the communities most vulnerable to HIV infection, including Indigenous communities.
Minister Philpott also announced that the Government of Canada will host a national conference on sexually transmitted and blood borne infections (STBBIs) in February 2017. Stakeholders and provincial and territorial governments will be engaged to identify concrete actions with substantial impacts on HIV and STBBIs in Canada, and contribute towards achieving global targets.
Canada has made great progress in addressing HIV/AIDS over more than three decades of responding to the epidemic; however, there is still work to do. The Government of Canada continues to work closely with the provinces and territories, community organizations and scientific and medical communities to reach the 90-90-90 targets by:
- providing HIV screening and testing guidance to health professionals;
- engaging with communities to strengthen prevention and access to testing and treatment services; and
- enhancing HIV surveillance to monitor progress.
- Canada is supporting global efforts to achieve the 90-90-90 targets through contributions to key international health partners, including the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
- Canada's 90-90-90 target estimate lies within the range reported by other developed countries, such as Australia, the United States, and the countries of western Europe.
- While the provinces and territories have primary responsibility for health care and health care services, the Government of Canada invests almost $76 million annually in programs and research across the country to help tackle HIV, hepatitis C and other sexually transmitted and blood borne infections.
- The investment from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research announced today includes over $3.1 million to fund 13 biomedical and clinical research projects, including two being led by early-career researchers, as well as over $300,000 to fund 10 community-based research projects, four of which are focused on Indigenous communities.
"Canada strongly supports the global HIV/AIDS 90-90-90 targets, which provide a catalyst for global action and are essential to ending AIDS as a global public health threat by 2030."
The Honourable Jane Philpott, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Health
"We all have a role to play in reaching the 90-90-90 targets. We are committed to working with the provinces and territories, community-based organizations, scientists and health professionals to make progress towards these ambitious goals."
Dr. Gregory Taylor
Chief Public Health Officer
"With CIHR's world-class researchers, Canada is uniquely suited to play a leadership role in helping the global community reach its 90-90-90 targets. Today's announcement will strengthen our capacity to conduct research into reducing HIV transmission and improving health outcomes of people living with the virus."
Dr. Alain Beaudet
President, Canadian Institutes of Health Research
SOURCE Health Canada
For further information: Andrew MacKendrick, Office of Jane Philpott, Minister of Health, 613-957-0200; Media Relations, Public Health Agency of Canada, 613-957-2983