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Vol. 6, No. 1, Fall 2008


By Jacqueline Arthur, A/Manager HIV/AIDS Policy, Coordination and Programs Division,
Centre for Communicable Diseases and Infection Control, Public Health Agency of Canada

Under the Federal Initiative to Address HIV/AIDS in Canada (Federal Initiative), the Government of Canada is committed to developing, in concert with those affected or at risk, population-specific approaches to address the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

Women account for a growing proportion of HIV positive test reports. According to the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), a total of 1,866 AIDS cases and 9,569 HIV infections were reported in adult women up to the end of 2006. In 2006, women accounted for approximately 28% of all HIV positive test reports and of those, 71.2% were young women between the ages of 15 and 39 years. Among women (15 years and older), the primary exposure categories associated with newly diagnosed HIV infection are heterosexual contact and intravenous drug use (IDU)1.

Through its community programming, including the AIDS Community Action Program (ACAP), PHAC provides support for community-based organizations to deliver prevention, care and support services to all people living with HIV/AIDS and those vulnerable to HIV infection, including prison inmates.

PHAC is also developing population-specific HIV/AIDS status reports for key populations including women and prison inmates to guide future policy, program and research priorities. Each report will include up-to-date information on the population’s demographic profile, on the state of the epidemic, on the factors that increase vulnerability to HIV/AIDS, on currently funded research, on the lived experience of those affected by HIV/AIDS and will conclude with an analysis of the response.

As a partner in the Federal Initiative, the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) is working with PHAC in the development of the status reports as well as engaging with other federal departments, agencies and non-governmental organizations in addressing the need for HIV prevention, diagnosis, care, treatment and support services.

Grand Valley Institution for Women, Kitchener, Ontario
Grand Valley Institution for Women, Kitchener, Ontario

Edmonton Institution for Women, Edmonton, Alberta
Edmonton Institution for Women, Edmonton, Alberta


1 HIV and AIDS in Canada. Surveillance Report to December 31, 2006. Surveillance and Risk Assessment Division, Centre for
Communicable Disease and Infection Control, Public Health Agency of Canada, 2007.

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