The HIV Treatment Cascade
The HIV treatment cascade is a useful description of the different steps that a person living with HIV will need to take in order to achieve an undetectable viral load and optimal health outcomes.
CTAC’s HIV Treatment Cascade Project
We’re excited to be working on a project exploring what issues impact engagement by people living with HIV with healthcare in Ontario. The goal is to better understand how policies impact treatment access for people living with HIV, and to identify opportunities to make the healthcare system more accessible.
We know people drop out of the HIV Treatment Cascade – e.g. why those starting treatment don’t stay on it. By seeking out policy barriers and developing solutions we can enable people to live long, healthy, and happy lives.
After a comprehensive literature review of research on the treatment cascade in Canada, we have carried out interviews with service providers and people living with HIV in Ontario. These are nearly complete and analysis of the policy barriers that they unearthed has begun.
In order to have a sample that is representative of Ontario, we are working with people living with HIV from each of Ontario’s priority populations (gay, bi and other MSM; African, Caribbean and Black people; Indigenous People; People who use injection drugs; and women from the above groups). We will also work with community partners to gather a geographically diverse sample.
We hope that once this project is complete, our results will be able to provide:
1.Insight on challenges in the treatment cascade for frontline service providers and policy makers.
2.Knowledge to help service providers more effectively advocate for the needs of their clients.
3.Opportunities for community-based agencies to organize and promote policy change that will broaden access to treatment.
CTAC hopes to use the knowledge gathered and our experience in Ontario to expand this project to other provinces as part of a multi-year, pan-Canadian project. The project is funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada.
How you can get involved