Amidst growth of HIV/AIDS in Toronto, nine out of 10 Ontarians agree
that society has "a moral obligation" to provide compassionate
treatment for people living with the disease
TORONTO, Nov. 28, 2011 /CNW/ - Today, marking World AIDS Week, Casey
House released a report outlining new and significant challenges for
Ontario's health care system in addressing the ongoing crisis of
HIV/AIDS, particularly in Toronto. The report also releases new polling
data revealing that Ontarians are concerned and compassionate about the
well-being of people struggling with HIV/AIDS in our province. Finally,
the report outlines plans recently announced by Casey House to
introduce a new Day Health Program, to more than double its capacity to
provide health care services for people living with HIV/AIDS.
The report is authored by Dr. Kevin Gough (Director, Division of Infectious Diseases at St. Michael's Hospital)
and Stephanie Karapita (Chief Executive Officer, Casey House). "Facing the Future: An Innovative Response to the Urgent HIV/AIDS Crisis
in Toronto" will be launched at Voices of Hope, Casey House's annual awareness-raising concert marking World AIDS Day on December 1.
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE REPORT:
The HIV/AIDS epidemic continues to grow in Ontario:
More people live with HIV/AIDS in Toronto than ever before, with 1 in
120 adult Torontonians estimated to be HIV-positive.
Two Torontonians are newly infected every day.
The number of people living with HIV/AIDS in Ontario grew by 31 percent
from 2003 to 2008 and is continuing to expand.
The challenges of HIV/AIDS are growing in complexity for Ontario's
health care system:
The face of HIV/AIDS is changing: although gay men continue to make up
the largest group of people living with the infection, new diagnoses
are happening among women and within the Aboriginal community, as well
as for new Canadians.
Deep stigma, poverty and marginalization continue to accompany the
disease of HIV/AIDS, creating additional barriers to the provision of
effective health care.
The new phenomenon of the "Greying of AIDS" will have widespread impact
on health care providers: half of the HIV+ population in Ontario is
expected to be older than 50 by 2015, with health care needs escalating
as they age.
Ontarians remain concerned and compassionate about the health of people
living with HIV/AIDS:
Nine out of 10 survey respondents agree that society has a "moral
obligation" to provide compassionate treatment to people living with
HIV, no matter how they contracted the disease.
Nine out of 10 Ontarians also agree that Ontario needs new options for
HIV/AIDS health care services that will reduce hospital stays.
"The good news is that HIV/AIDS is no longer a death sentence," says Dr. Kevin Gough, Director of Infectious Diseases at St. Michael's Hospital, who
co-authored the report. "Today, if people have access to treatment,
HIV/AIDS can be more like a chronic disease that waxes and wanes in
severity throughout their lives. That's terrific news. But we're seeing
that as people age with HIV/AIDS, their health care needs frequently
escalate and can become very disabling." This is evident at Casey
House, where clients cope with an average of five serious illnesses
layered on top of their HIV infection.
As the population of people aging with HIV/AIDS continues to expand,
Ontario needs a response to meet this growing demand for flexible care
that addresses the rollercoaster of symptoms and health needs that is
the experience for so many.
Casey House recently announced plans to launch a new Day Health Program,
to expand its range of HIV/AIDS health care services and to serve as a
model for chronic disease management. To be housed along with Casey
House's other programs in a redeveloped facility that will open at the
corner of Jarvis and Isabella Streets in 2015, the Day Health Program
will provide comprehensive treatment to meet the complex needs of
people living with HIV/AIDS. A skilled interdisciplinary team will
ensure that clients of the program have the support they need to remain
safely at home and out of hospital or long-term care. Working alongside
agencies providing services to people living with HIV/AIDS, the program
will complement services currently available in Toronto.
Notes Stephanie Karapita, Casey House CEO and the report's co-author, "The Day Health Program
will be an innovative response to the expanding demand for chronic care
management in our province, which currently claims 55 percent of direct
and indirect health care costs in Ontario. Not only is this program a
targeted means to address the expanding and deepening need for complex
HIV/AIDS treatment in Toronto, but it's also an effective way to reach
out to marginalized populations who are not currently getting the range
of health care services that they need to stay healthy."
ABOUT CASEY HOUSE: Founded in 1988, Casey House was the first freestanding HIV/AIDS
facility in Canada. Today we are a specialty HIV/AIDS hospital offering
home care and outreach programs. Our commitment is to provide
compassionate, exemplary health care to people living with and affected
by HIV/AIDS, in collaboration with our communities. www.caseyhouse.com
SOURCE Casey House Foundation
For further information:
Kathleen Sandusky, Casey House Communications Specialist
(416) 894-0238 (cell) / firstname.lastname@example.org