We are all a part of the solution to ending Canada’s HIV epidemic.
We have not yet beaten HIV. Although there are better treatment options today, there is still no cure. Currently, one Canadian acquires HIV every four hours. Our rates are not going down, unlike other G7 countries which are seeing a reduction in the number of new HIV cases each year. We need to do more.
As of 2019…
There were an estimated
new HIV cases
of all new cases occurred among men who have sex with men.
of all new cases were among Indigenous people.
CANFAR believes that ending the HIV epidemic in Canada is within reach. We have the tools and means to end the HIV epidemic in Canada, but we need to continue increasing awareness and education of HIV, especially among young people and key affected populations.
We all need to do our part in supporting people in Canada living with HIV, as well as those at risk of HIV transmission. Read more about what CANFAR is doing to raise awareness of HIV across Canada.
CANFAR’s National Awareness Programs aim to change perspectives, challenge HIV stigma, and promote health and well-being in our communities supporting people living with and affected by HIV.
Across Canada, people are sharing stories about living with HIV, getting tested, living on the streets, and fighting against HIV stigma. We are continually heartened by people’s stories of courage, resilience, and strength. CANFAR’s National Awareness Programs support people in creating change within their communities.
Real People. Real Stories. Real HIV.
Currently, there is no up-to-date national data on Canadian youth’s sexual health, mental health, and substance use experiences, as well as HIV attitudes. At the end of 2019, CANFAR conducted a national online survey to hundreds of youth across Canada as part of a landscape assessment for our national youth HIV awareness program.
We collected responses from 471 youth on their experiences with sex, substances, condom use, HIV/STI testing, mental health, access to resources, and knowledge of and attitudes towards HIV. The findings collected from this survey will directly inform CANFAR’s national youth HIV awareness program to ground our work in an evidence-based and youth-centered approach. The findings are also being shared with community partners to strengthen community capacity across sectors and regions serving youth.
CANFAR has partnered with award-winning, Toronto-based youth-led sexual health performance group, SExT: Sex Education by Theatre.
Founded by Dr. Shira Taylor, SExT is a peer education program that uses theatre, dance, drama, rap, song, poetry, and spoken word performed by youth to educate other youth about various topics on teen health and well-being. SExT’s comprehensive shows address mental health, racism, homophobia, HIV, STIs, testing, teen pregnancy, cyberbullying, healthy relationships, violence, and more.
Both CANFAR and SExT share the mutual goals of empowering young Canadians to take control of their own health and well-being, to prevent HIV/STIs through comprehensive sexual health education, and to celebrate diverse identities and experiences among youth.
Since 2018, CANFAR partnered with SExT on an annual national high schools tour, bringing their show to over 100 communities and reaching over 10,000 youth in remote communities and urban centres across Canada. Impacting both students and educators, SExT has proven its ability to prompt meaningful reflection for both individual and pedagogical change.
To learn more about our partnership, visit our story here or watch the highlights from our 2019 and 2018 tours in our videos below.
I learned about HIV. I thought that you’ll get infected if you hug or kiss someone who has HIV, but I was wrong. You’ll get infected from unprotected sex.”
— Female Student, Age 16, Grade 10 | John Polyani Collegiate Institute | Toronto, Ontario
[I will] get tested before anything or use condoms.”
— Female Student, Age 12, Grade 6 | Twin Lakes Community School | Buffalo Narrows, Saskatchewan
I [used to] feel uncomfortable about my health but I won’t anymore.”
— Male Student, Age 18, Grade 12 | Rossignol High School | Île-à-la-Crosse, Saskatchewan
I will be more careful when I get into sexual relationships.”
— Male Student, Age 14, Grade 9 | John Polyani Collegiate Institute | Toronto, Ontario