In collaboration with some of Canada’s most eminent HIV researchers and advocates, CANFAR is pleased to announce the establishment of a National Working Group on HIV & AIDS Research.
In late 2015, federal Health Minister Jane Philpott endorsed the 90-90-90 HIV and AIDS target established by the United Nations. These targets are to ensure that 90 per cent of people living with HIV have been tested and know their status; 90 per cent of those tested are then to be receiving HIV treatment; and finally, 90 per cent of people on treatment are to have suppressed the virus in their bodies to a level that is undetectable.
Based on these targets, Minister Philpott directed the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) to develop a framework and action plan to address sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections (STBBIs) over the next five years.
Subsequently, CANFAR discussed with PHAC and the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR) the need to engage researchers to support these efforts. As a result, CANFAR is facilitating a complementary process that will produce a set of recommendations on how the HIV and AIDS research community can best support the national action plan.
The National Working Group on HIV & AIDS Research will work on this between now and this November 2017. The group is being chaired by William Flanagan, Dean of Law at Queen’s University and a board director of CANFAR; the Vice-Chair is Andrew Pringle, CM, Chair of RPIA and CANFAR board chair. The group is inclusive of leading HIV researchers and community leaders from across Canada who are working together to achieve three goals:
- Focus on the major research initiatives and related infrastructures currently in place as part of Canada’s national response to HIV and AIDS, and to explore and make recommendations on how these research efforts can better connect with and support the broader national strategy and response for all STBBIs.
- Develop a set of inspirational goals and robust targets for Canadian HIV research efforts and initiatives so that our success can be measured objectively against these, and as a part of the implementation of the larger action plan strategy.
- Make recommendations on the infrastructures required and any ways to work differently and more collaboratively to achieve these goals and targets.
“We are very enthusiastic about the work this group is undertaking and we expect the process to be collaborative, consultative and pragmatic,” said group chair Bill Flanagan. “We are looking forward to delivering a set of clear recommendations that will complement and support our country’s efforts to end the HIV pandemic.”
Story by Christopher Bunting, Deputy Chair of the CANFAR Board of Directors.
Posted on Tuesday July 25, 2017.