Ontario is a well-connected network committed to community-based research with a strong focus on the meaningful engagement of community stakeholders, especially the engagement of people living with HIV. The CBR priorities of this region are shaped by the Ontario HIV Strategy to 2026, whose goals include:

  1. Improving the health and well-being of populations most affected by HIV
  2. Promoting sexual health and preventing new HIV, STI and HCV infections
  3. Diagnosing HIV infections early and engaging people in timely care
  4. Improving health, longevity and quality of life for people living with HIV
  5. Ensuring the quality, consistency and effectiveness of all provincially funded HIV programs and services

The projects below are examples of these commitments to improving the lives of people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS.

WILLOW: This HIV prevention intervention was developed in the United Stated and was piloted in Toronto to assess its acceptability and effectiveness among ACB women living with HIV. The pilot was adapted to be relevant in the Canadian context. The implementation and evaluation of this intervention is ongoing and the findings will be used to determine how to adapt and scale WILLOW to other locations.

Establishing an Effective Periodic Health Monitoring Survey:  This project seeks to address the fact that provinces do not have the types of monitoring systems in place to meet the policy and program needs established by the Ontario HIV/AIDS Strategy to 2026. The long-term goal is to establish a timely, sustainable, and effective periodic monitoring survey for trends in HIV and its determinants among Gay, Bisexual and other men who have sex with men (GBMSM) in Ontario.

The Investigaytors: As part of the Periodic Health Monitoring Survey, the Investigaytors is a community-based participatory approach that provides a “hands-on” approach to learning and gaining skills related to research and social sciences. It’s an opportunity for young GBMSM to develop their critical thinking skills and become actively involved researchers.

Video Directly Observed Therapy to Improve Adherence of HIV infected children and adolescents to combination anti-retroviral therapy (VDOT): Non-adherence to antiretroviral therapy is a significant problem for children and teens that are living with HIV and this project seeks to make it easier by connecting patients with their care providers over Skype on a mobile device.

Supporting Mothers in Ways that Work Toolkit: This is a toolkit that is specific to Positive Aboriginal Women (PAW). The objectives of this toolkit are to, (1) increase knowledge and skills of health and social service providers of the experiences and needs of PAW during pregnancy, birth, and motherhood, (2) support health and social services providers to work with PAW in ways that value Indigenous cultures and experience.

Interdisciplinary HIV Parenting Research and Exchange Group (IHPREG): This strong network of knowledge creators and users are dedicated to improving the reproductive health outcomes of people living with and affected by HIV and to provide support for parents living with an affected by HIV. There is a quarterly newsletter that is sent out with updates on recent publications, projects, and upcoming events.