Reducing the risk of HIV, hepatitis C and other blood-borne infections
OTTAWA, May 28, 2018 /CNW/ - Sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections, including HIV and hepatitis C, are largely preventable but remain a significant public health concern in Canada. The Government of Canada is taking action to reduce transmission of these diseases, including measures to prevent the spread of HIV and hepatitis C through the sharing of drug-use equipment, such as needles and pipes.
Through its Harm Reduction Fund, the Public Health Agency of Canada is investing $30 million over five years to support community initiatives to address the risk of infection among people who share drug-use equipment.
Today, the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health, launched an open call for proposals to support community projects that will reduce the rate of infections of HIV and hepatitis C among people who share injection and other drug-use equipment. Successful projects will implement evidence-based, time-limited interventions such as the development of educational resources for people who use drugs, peer outreach initiatives and training for health service providers.
The open call for proposals will allow applicants to apply for up to three years of funding for time-limited projects.
"The Harm Reduction Fund will help organizations implement response activities in communities where there are high rates of infections among people who share drug-use equipment, with the goal of reducing the rates of diseases, like HIV and hepatitis C, across our country."
The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Health
"Evidence shows that harm reduction is a vital part of a comprehensive, compassionate and collaborative public health approach to prevent the transmission of infectious diseases that result from the sharing of drug-use equipment. The Harm Reduction Fund will help Canadians who use drugs to adopt safer behaviours, and will reduce the rate of preventable diseases like HIV and hepatitis C."
Dr. Theresa Tam
Chief Public Health Officer of Canada
- Eligible activities under the Harm Reduction Fund include front-line prevention activities and capacity-building of individuals, providers and systems.
- Additional calls for project proposals are planned for spring 2019 and 2020.
- People who share drug-use equipment continue to be disproportionately represented among those acquiring HIV and hepatitis C infections in Canada.
- In 2014, 10.5% of new HIV infections were among people who injected drugs.
- 68% of people who inject drugs and who were surveyed between 2010 and 2012 indicated that they had at one point been infected with hepatitis C.
SOURCE Public Health Agency of Canada
For further information: Thierry Bélair, Office of Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health, 613-957-0200; Media Relations, Public Health Agency of Canada, 613-957-2983