Demographic characteristics associated with access to HAART, HIV care and HIV viral load testing
Key take-home messages
- In many Canadian studies, issues related to access to HAART are not addressed because it is assumed that everyone in the universal health care system has the access they need. However, most provinces provide only partial coverage for prescription drugs and individuals are responsible for any amount not covered through provincial health insurance plans (either through private insurance and/or out-of-pocket expense). More research must be conducted to uncover the barriers to accessing HAART given the financial barriers that some may face in accessing treatment.
- The demographic factors associated with adherence to HAART have been studied more fully and may be more applicable to the Canadian context where, theoretically, everyone has access to HAART.
- There are a large number of people with HIV who do not undergo viral load testing or CD4 cell count monitoring according to established guidelines, but most people access HIV care within one month of initial diagnosis. Most of the people who have difficulty accessing continuous HIV care belong to marginalized populations.
The Ontario HIV Treatment Network: Rapid Response Service
- General HIV+ population
- Engagement and Care Cascade