On World AIDS Day 2017 CTAC is delighted to launch Creating a Comprehensive Cascade: Increasing Access to HIV and HCV Treatment, Care and Support, which reveals the injustice created by Canada’s disjointed approach to treatment access and suggests some possible solutions.
It compares costs and access for three sample patients in jurisdictions across Canada illustrating the inequity between, and within, jurisdictions.
We concluded that access to HIV/HCV treatment in Canada is shaped more by where a person lives than what they need.
The pan-Canadian environmental scan contained within Creating a Comprehensive Cascade identifies the increasing gaps in Canada’s HIV and HCV response and is a call to action to government and community leadership to adopt a more comprehensive vision of the care cascade and the three goals of the UN AIDS 90-90-90.
These international targets aim to have 90% of people with HIV diagnosed, 90% of those receiving antiretroviral treatment, and 90% of those virally suppressed by 2020. Canada has endorsed the UNAIDS 90-90-90 goals but is lagging behind other nations in reaching these goals.
To achieve and exceed the three 90-90-90-targets, two new targets are proposed:
- The Fourth 90: 90% of those with viral load suppression will have good health-related quality of life.
- The Fifth 90: $90 Million in annual HIV funding for a federal HIV/AIDS Strategy that sets measurable goals every five years.
CTAC is asking Canadian policymakers to reflect on why Canada is not among the seven countries who have already reached the UN 90-90-90 targets (Botswana, Cambodia, Denmark, Iceland, Singapore, Sweden and the United Kingdom) or the 11 other countries that UNAIDS believes are on the cusp of doing so.
Canada lacks a national AIDS strategy, and a clear commitment to the well-being and quality of life of people living with HIV. All Canadians continue to pay for HIV treatment, due to the chronic underfunding of HIV prevention efforts and the restrictions on vital prevention tools such as self-testing and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV.
We continue to seek federal and provincial leadership on these issues. We are asking the policymakers to take action on two vital issues:
- Access to HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP)
- The availability of HIV self-testing kits
This technology is widely used in other developed countries such as the United States, United Kingdom, France and Australia.
Some of the most effective tools to reduce HIV transmission are within our reach, but remain beyond our grasp.
The full version is available here.