Government of Canada supports community-based projects addressing HIV, Hepatitis C, and other sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections

January 23, 2024 | Ottawa, Ontario | Public Health Agency of Canada

Today, the Honourable Mark Holland, Minister of Health, announced more than $9.5 million in funding through the HIV and Hepatitis C Community Action Fund (CAF) and the Harm Reduction Fund (HRF) for 12 projects to support the work of community-based organizations addressing HIV, hepatitis C and other sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections (STBBI) throughout the Atlantic region.

STBBI are preventable, treatable and in many cases curable. However, these infections remain a significant public health concern in Canada, especially among Indigenous, 2SLGBTQ+, and other equity-deserving communities. Today’s funding includes more than $6.6 million through the CAF, which will support 7 community-based interventions to address HIV, hepatitis C and other STBBI. For example, the Getting to Zero project by the AIDS Committee of Newfoundland and Labrador Inc will use a layered approach to address challenges related to HIV, hepatitis C, and other STBBI risks for key populations in Newfoundland and Labrador. It also aims to expand access to quality, evidence-based education and services, and increase the public’s knowledge and awareness on transmission and testing options.

This announcement also includes more than $2.9 million through the HRF, which will support 5 projects to help reduce HIV and hepatitis C among people who share injection and inhalation drug-use equipment. One project receiving funding under the HRF is the John Howard Society of Southeastern New Brunswick Inc. This project in Moncton, New Brunswick will build on existing mobile outreach services provided by the organization and community partners by expanding the reach and capacity of a peer-led outreach team into rural communities surrounding the Greater Moncton Area. This peer-based outreach program will use an integrated design to reduce stigmatization and discrimination, and reduce barriers to accessing services needed for people who use drugs and/or experience homelessness.

Initially announced in August 2022 at the 24th annual International AIDS Conference, the HIV self-test initiative is bolstered by an additional $8.6 million. This funding provides support to 50 community-based organizations through March 2024 to offset costs associated with efforts to distribute the HIV self-test kits to their key populations. Self-test kits offer a safe, reliable, anonymous and confidential way for people to determine their infection status. They are an important tool for combatting the stigma and discrimination that present barriers to care.

The Government of Canada is committed to working with and supporting community-based organizations, Indigenous partners, provinces and territories, researchers, public health, and the health sector to prevent new infections and support the global goal of ending HIV, hepatitis C and other STBBI as public health concerns.

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