The HIV Population is aging, but the epidemic is not over. According to the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) there were 1639 new cases of HIV diagnosed in Canada in 2020. 71.4% of these new cases were male and 28.6% female. Of these more than 1600 new cases 60.8% were the result of man having sex with man (MSM) and 12.8% were the result of injecting drugs.
Another striking fact is that more than 50% of the 68000 people infected with HIV in Canada are now over 50 years old. This group is diverse and consists partly of people who have been HIV positive for a long time but also of people who have been infected more recently.
The HIV population is aging that much is clear. This phenomenon is seen in more western countries. Much improved medication that is more easily accessible contributes greatly to this fact.
Still there are concerns. Perhaps partly due to the recent COVID pandemic attention to HIV seems to be declining. Remarkably the UNAIDS site lacks the most recent data from Canada. (16-08-2022)
Gerry Lacasse Executive Director of The Canadian AIDS Society sounded the alarm in the most recent Surveillance Report from the PHAC. “More money is needed for HIV prevention, because our targets are not being achieved.”
One can therefore conclude that the HIV population in Canada is aging but that the HIV epidemic unfortunately is not over yet.
(Info: PHAC. (Public Health Agency of Canada)
a lifelong activist
Gregg (62) became infected with the HIV virus in the early 1980s. As hard as it may be, it hasn’t often gotten in the way of his enjoyment of life.
Gregg has been a lifelong activist. His face was on the first poster used in a campaign warning against AIDS in 1984. He still fights against prejudice and ignorance every day.
Photo’s by Maryse Boyce