Over 60,000 Canadians and 37 million people worldwide live with HIV. During the early days of HIV and AIDS, there was tremendous fear and discrimination – to the extent that British British politicians argued on quarantine individuals with HIV.
Since then, the arc of scientific progress on HIV has been rapid. But HIV-related stigma and discrimination has not gone and the global epidemic is far from far.
There are still 2,000 new HIV cases in Canada every year. Fundraising for AIDS service establishments has slowed down and global funding for HIV research and development has decreased.
This World AIDS Day calls for recognition that negative views and feelings about HIV are co-implanted and swept with racism, transphobia and homophobia.
You can get HIV and become unexpected & # 39;
Due to access to modern antiretroviral treatments, HIV has become a most manageable condition. Research of the Center of Excellence in HIV / AIDS (BC-CfE) has shown that people with HIV who now take treatments have a life expectancy similar to those who are HIV- negative.
Julio Montaner, Director of the BC-CfE, led the concept of treatment as a stopping up; (TasP). The medical and scientific community has come to a consensus that a person living with HIV can be "unacceptable" – which means that they are not at risk of transmitting the virus sexually – if They carry out an intestinal viral load through HIV treatment. People living with HIV have led the movement "undetectable = untransmittable" to share this message of hope and to fight HIV stigma.
According to our own research on Momentum Health Study, the number of HIV-negative gay men in Vancouver who knew this concept almost doubled from 2012 to 2015. The good news is that this was not related to any reduction in use condom.
The bad news: Key messages about HIV prevention and testing may not reach all audiences. For example, we found that bisexual men, older men and men living outside the city were significantly less likely to have been proven for HIV over the last two years.
Unfortunately, attempts to prevent the spread of HIV are obstructed by fear and stigma. For example, some gay and bisexual men are not proven about HIV because they are worried about the effect she might have on their relationship and sex life, and that they may face discrimination.
Men are still afraid to tell doctors and have tests
In Canada, it remains a criminal offense not to disclose a HIV-positive status as a consensual if a condom is not used.
This discriminatory law continues despite the scientific consensus established now that an individual who has an involuntary viral load can not pass the virus. This was tested through a study where almost 60,000 acts of less condom condition between serodiscordant couples (where one partner is HIV negative and other HIV positive) leads to HIV transmission.
World AIDS Day: Let's give us the best to offend HIV status
These fears also make it difficult for men to tell their doctor about sex with other men. At least a quarter of Momentum participants had not told their doctor about sex with men, and those men were just as likely to have been proven for HIV.
Stigma also affects access to services and mental health. Men who experienced more mental challenges (depression and use of multiple illegal drugs) were more likely to be involved in sex that could pass HIV.
Disassociation feelings of the disease can be balanced with discrimination. For example, HIV risk among transsexual men in the Momentum Health Study has been formed by having difficulty finding sexual partners safely, challenges with condom use and barriers to accessing healthcare including services that are. connected to transfer.
An HIV prevention drug is effective
We now have more equipment in the HIV prevention toolkit than at the top of the epidemic. Safer sex, which once referred to condoms alone, is now considering issues such as unavailable status and pre-exposure profiles, or PrEP.
HIV prevention medication, PrEP, is extremely effective when it is taken consistently and is available at no cost to qualified HIV-negative individuals at a British University with a high risk of HIV.
Before PrEP is included in B.C., PrEP used only 2.3 per cent of gay men in the Momentum Health Study in Vancouver. However, an awareness of PrEP was more than a quarter per cent to 80 per cent of 18 per cent during this period.
Although challenges to access remain, there are thousands of gay men and other people at risk of HIV across B.C. Now take free PREP.
HIV has changed. And the results need to catch up. Now is the time for policy makers, service providers and the whole country to include a better understanding of HIV.
Complaining, ignorance and continuing to see HIV as a pity will keep us from moving forward in our efforts to support people living with HIV and reducing new infections.