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Disparities in the Burden of HIV/AIDS in Canada

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BackgroundWe aimed to characterize changes in patterns of new HIV diagnoses, HIV-related mortality, and HAART use in Canada from 1995 to 2008.MethodsData on new HIV diagnoses were obtained from Health Canada, HIV-related mortality statistics were obtained from Statistics Canada, and information on the number of people on HAART was obtained from the single antiretroviral distribution site in British Columbia (BC), and the Intercontinental Marketing Services Health for Ontario and Quebec. Trends of new HIV-positive tests were assessed using Spearman rank correlations and the association between the number of individuals on HAART and new HIV diagnoses were estimated using generalized estimating equations (GEE).ResultsA total of 34,502 new HIV diagnoses were observed. Rates of death in BC are higher than those in Ontario and Quebec with the rate being 2.03 versus 1.06 and 1.21 per 100,000 population, respectively. The number of HIV infected individuals on HAART increased from 5,091 in 1996 to 20,481 in 2008 in the three provinces (4 fold increase). BC was the only province with a statistically significant decrease (trend test p<0.0001) in the rate of new HIV diagnoses from 18.05 to 7.94 new diagnoses per 100,000 population. Our analysis showed that for each 10% increment in HAART coverage the rate of new HIV diagnoses decreased by 8% (95% CI: 2.4%, 13.3%)InterpretationExcept for British Columbia, the number of new HIV diagnoses per year has remained relatively stable across Canada over the study period. The decline in the rate of new HIV diagnoses per year may be in part attributed to the greater expansion of HAART coverage in this province.
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0047260
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Hogg RS, Heath K, Lima VD, Nosyk B, Kanters S, et al. (2012) Disparities in the Burden of HIV/AIDS in Canada. PLoS ONE 7(11): e47260. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0047260
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Disparities in the Burden of HIV/AIDS in Canada
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