Care & prevention
Living long, healthy and thriving!
...despite the immense political and human rights gains, our health outcomes, the health outcomes of all queer people, continue to be some of the worst in the country.
To end the epidemic, we need to make sure that we don’t let people fall through the cracks - we need to bring the test to the people. Make sure everyone who tests positive has access to the right care and treatment. When they do, they’re on their way to living long and healthy lives!
What I try to tell people is that an HIV diagnosis is significant—it’s not something to trivialize—but if you get on effective antiretroviral therapy and we work on this together, you’ll be around well into old age.
Professor Microbiology, Division of Infectious
Diseases, Dalhousie University
Feelings, sharing and trust
A positive diagnosis may trigger difficult feelings, which you don’t have to manage entirely on your own. Having someone to talk to about your feelings can help. In addition to healthcare staff, there are a lot of HIV organisations, peer support groups and online forums that might provide you with support.
HIV doesn’t define you. You define you. You can have HIV and still have an amazing life…
HIV positive mother of three, LGBTQ ally & human rights activist
Disclosing can be complicated….
While it’s comforting to share your feelings with someone close and understanding, you may not always be sure who you can trust and how they might react. It’s your choice alone whether or not to disclose your status to others, such as your employer, co-worker, even your dentist, or other healthcare workers. To help you decide who to tell … here are some resources to help (CATIE)
For the most up-to-date information and advice on when people living with HIV have a legal duty to disclose their HIV status, visit the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network or CATIE to more information on how to make your decision.
We can actually officially recommend that you have sex without a condom to get pregnant, just like every other couple who wants to get pregnant….
Living with HIV doesn’t mean putting the breaks on living!
By linking to the right care and staying on treatment, anyone with HIV can expect to live just as long as someone who doesn’t have HIV. HIV shouldn’t stop you from doing the things you want to do in your life, whether starting a family, a relationship or dynamic career.
Trust science not stigma!
People living with HIV on effective treatment that have an undetectable viral load can’t pass it on to a partner.
Believe it: Undetectable = Unstransmittable!
You can have sex without worrying about transmitting to someone. You can do that freely, without shame and enjoying your sex.
The scientific discoveries of the benefits of antiretroviral treatment are incredible. They can support people who are living with HIV to live normal lifespans, but can also prevent the transmission of HIV to sexual partners. By ensuring universal and low barrier access to those who both need them, we can end the HIV epidemic in Canada.
Over the past several years the HIV prevention toolbox has significantly expanded. Get familiar with the 3 core ways to help prevent HIV…
If you test HIV negative but feel you’re potentially still at high risk for HIV infection, PrEP is a highly effective HIV prevention tool available in Canada. As long as you take it as prescribed by your doctor, PrEP can effectively prevent HIV.
Learn more about using PrEP
Concerned about exposure to the virus?
Maybe your condom broke, or something else unexpected happened while playing with someone. Taking PEP within 72 hours can dramatically reduce your risk of acquiring HIV. Head to your nearest emergency room as soon as possible to get on treatment.
Get all the facts about PEP, how it works and more
As Toronto's Gay Men’s Sexual Alliance puts it, using condoms are a, “... quick, simple, and cheap ticket to hot and playful sex while lowering the chances of passing on HIV or STIs”. And especially when used in sync with PrEP or maintaining an undetectable viral load.
Find out everything from getting the perfect fit to the best lube and more
‘Viral load’ refers to the amount of HIV in a person’s blood. For people living with HIV, taking their HIV medication daily can reduce the amount of HIV in their blood to a level too low to be measured by a diagnostic test. At that point, a person’s viral load is said to be undetectable.
Read more about treatment to reach an undetectable viral load
I’m a trans woman of colour, and I’m positive, that’s a heavy weight on my back. I’m ready to show my face to see other people say, "if she can, she’s happy, she’s there, then why not me?
trans woman, HIV positive & Master Motivator