Author: Dattadeen, Jodi-Ann
Developing effective HIV prevention, treatment and support programs for African, Caribbean and Black (ACB) communities in Canada is of increasing importance. While ACB communities comprise only 2.5% of Canada’s population, they account for 14% of all HIV infections (PHAC, 2014). In addition, people from HIV-endemic countries living in Canada have HIV incidence rates six times higher than the general population (ACCHO, 2009). Research shows that people from HIV-endemic countries living with, and affected by, HIV/AIDS face unique cultural and social barriers beyond those experienced by Canadian-born individuals affected by the epidemic (African and Caribbean Council on HIV/AIDS, 2003). African and Caribbean communities in Canada are also more likely to experience barriers to successful implementation of HIV treatment, prevention and risk-reduction programs (Campbell, 2009). The majority of research on African, Caribbean and Black communities in Canada has focused on understanding the risk factors for HIV infection (Shimeles et al., 2010). Relatively few studies have examined effective strategies for improving prevention and treatment efforts and engaging ACB communities in the design and delivery of HIV/AIDS programs and services. The purpose of this literature review was to critically appraise the academic and grey literature to identify strategies for improving HIV prevention, treatment and support services among ACB communities in Canada. Eleven strategies were identified: formation and strengthening of government strategies; expand outreach to ACB communities; address stigma and discrimination; address the criminalization of HIV non-disclosure; improve involvement of ACB communities and PLHIV specifically; enhance collaboration within the HIV service sector; address the social determinants of health; ensure resources available for work needed; expand and enhance service provision; and collection of ethno-specific surveillance data. The findings from this review can be used to inform policies, programs, service delivery and further research that strengthen our response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic among African, Caribbean and Black communities in Canada.
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