The report, titled The War on Drugs and HIV/AIDS: How the Criminalization of Drug Use Fuels the Global Pandemic, reveals that the worldwide supply of illicit opiates, such as heroin, has increased by more than 380% in recent decades. Drug seizures, arrests, criminal convictions and other commonly reported indices of drug law enforcement “success” have actually been ineffective in reducing the availability of illegal drugs. For instance, despite a more than 600% inflation-adjusted increase in the U.S. federal anti-drug budget since the early 1980s, heroin prices in the United States have decreased by approximately 80% during this period. Heroin purity, meanwhile, has increased by more than 900%. Similar patterns of increasing availability, falling prices and increasing potency are seen when data for other drugs, such as cocaine and marijuana, are scrutinized.
STOP HIV/AIDS is a pilot project to expand HIV testing, treatment, and support services to clinically eligible individuals in British Columbia. Hon. Kevin Falcon, former Minister of Health Services, announced the program on February 4, 2010. The initial four-year pilot phase is supported by a $48-million funding commitment by the Government of British Columbia to Vancouver Coastal Health, Northern Health, the Provincial Health Services Authority, Providence Health Care, and the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS.
Both the general Canadian population and Canadians living with HIV are aging.
It is estimated that the percentage of seniors (age 65 and older) will almost double in Canada within the next 25 years: from 13.9 per cent in 2009 to 24.5 per cent by 2036.1 HIV-positive Canadians are aging as well. The number of older Canadians living with HIV is increasing, both because HIV-positive Canadians are living longer thanks to improved treatment options, and because some Canadians receive an HIV diagnosis later in life.
As a result of these circumstances, the intersection of HIV and aging is becoming stronger than ever. There are specific physical and psychosocial issues related to HIV and aging that present particular challenges to effective prevention, care, treatment and support.
The American Academy of HIV Medicine is a professional organization that supports the HIV practitioner and promotes accessible, quality care for all Americans living with HIV disease. Our membership of HIV practitioners and credentialed HIV Specialists™ provide direct care to more than three-fourths of HIV patients in the US. AAHIVM is the only network of frontline HIV care providers inclusive of physicians, physician assistants, nurses, nurse practitioners and pharmacists offering numerous opportunities for peer-to-peer connection. The AAHIVM Web site, www.aahivm.org, houses a “members only” intranet where members share important information via message boards, articles, chapter meeting schedules and more.
By mid-decade the CDC predicts that
nearly half of the expected 1.5 million in the
USA living with HIV (Human
immunodeficiency virus infection) will be age
50 and older. This aging of the epidemic is
largely the result of effective ARV
(Antiretroviral) treatments which have
prolonged the life span of those with HIV
disease. As the lines of
communication have grown between HIV
care providers and geriatricians, common
themes have emerged involving the health
management of older persons with HIV
infection. Members of the Academy of HIV
Medicine (AAHIVM) and the American
Geriatrics Society (AGS) with the AIDS
Community Research Initiative of America
(ACRIA) have collaborated for the past two
years to address the clinical management of
older persons with HIV/AIDS.
In 2003, the regional health authority in Vancouver, Canada successfully applied to the federal government for a legal operating exemption to pilot North America’s first medically supervised injection facility (SIF) – Insite. The exemption was granted on the condition the program undergo rigorous scientific evaluation. Given the controversial nature of SIFs, as will be described in this report, the Insite evaluation was designed to stand up to the highest level of scientific scrutiny.The first several years of evaluation have yielded an array of scientific outputs, including more than 30 peer-reviewed studies describing the program’s impacts. These publications indicate that Insite provides a range of benefits to its clients and the greater community, including a reduction in public injecting, lower levels of HIV risk behaviours (e.g., syringe sharing), and an increase in uptake of addiction treatment among the facility’s clients. Furthermore, studies seeking to identify potential harms of the facility found no evidence of negative impacts. Studies were independently peer-reviewed and published in top scientific periodicals, including the New England Journal of Medicine, The Lancet and the British Medical Journal.
It is recognized that the lack of understanding among key stakeholders regarding the results of Insite’s evaluation reflect, in part, a failure to appropriately translate and share findings related to the initiative. Specifically, it has become increasingly clear in scientific circles that academic publications are not sufficiently accessible to politicians and the general public.
The following report addresses this concern by providing a lay person’s description of the scientific evaluation of Insite, as well as summaries of the research findings related to its impact. It is hoped that by making this information more accessible to the general public, the federal government, and the media, this report will offer clarity to all Canadians on the issue of supervised injecting facilities such as Insite.
According to this report, 15,000 Canadian patients were hospitalized with H1N1/influenza in 2009. The hospital system managed these patients and the specialized services they required reasonably well. While H1N1 was not a major factor in 2010–2011, there were new strains of influenza (and viruses) that continued to enter the system. An understanding of H1N1 in acute care hospitals is critical as health systems review and revise their pandemic plans. H1N1 touches a different demographic than seasonal flu and a high proportion of inpatients need specialized services such as ICU and ventilation. Hospital pandemic plans are designed to match capacity and rely on multiple assumptions. Information from the 2009 response should provide inputs to the models used and help hospitals improve preparedness.
The objective of the Roundtable on Healthcare and Emergency Service Sector Pandemic Preparedness White Paper - entitled "Voices From the H1N1 Influenza Pandemic Front Lines: A White Paper About How Canada Could Do Better Next Time" - is to help those entrusted with healthcare decision-making and those who deliver care and services to the public as they continue to prepare for future influenza pandemics.
The Canada Communicable Disease Report (CCDR) of the Population and Public Health Branch of Health Canada presents current information on infectious and other diseases for surveillance purposes. The site provides access to a listing of articles and news updates from 1995 to the present. Other reports on emerging health threats are available and can be downloaded. Links to weekly and monthly reports, resources under chronic diseases, fluwatch, surveillance, influenza links, respiratory virus detections and the West Nile Virus, among other information is included.
The Hand Hygiene Resource Page is published by the Provincial Infection Control Network of BC (PICNet). The resource page provides links to a range of standards and guidelines, hand hygiene campaigns, educational resources, fact sheets, diagrams & signage, interactive tools and much more. It includes several links to research and newsletters.