HIV/AIDS on the rise in Ontario

One in 120 Torontonians living with HIV

Two citizens of Toronto are newly infected with HIV/AIDS every day, and one in 120 Torontonians is living with HIV, according to a new report released by Casey House to coincide with World AIDS Day.

The report also found that the number of Ontarians with HIV/AIDS increased by 31 percent between 2003 and 2008 and continues to rise.

The report notes there is an urgent HIV/AIDS crisis in Toronto, finding that young people under 30 account for 25 percent of new infections.

It also found that rates of infection are increasing among women, within the aboriginal community and among new Canadians. The majority of those with HIV/AIDS in Ontario continue to be gay men.

While the authors say access to treatment has improved, they also note a new trend, the “greying of AIDS,” which will see half the HIV-positive population of Ontario older than 50 by 2015.

“We’re seeing that as people age with HIV/AIDS, their healthcare needs frequently escalate and can become very disabling,” said Dr Kevin Gough, co-author of the report and director of infectious diseases at St Michael’s Hospital, in a release.

The report found that stigma and marginalization continue to impede efforts to stop the spread of the disease.

Danny Glenwright was formerly Xtra’s managing editor. He has a background in human rights journalism and media training and a masters in international cooperation and development from Italy’s University of Pavia. Before coming to Xtra, Danny was the editor of the Gender Links Opinion and Commentary news service in South Africa and a regular contributor to South Africa’s Mail and Guardian news. He has also worked in Sierra Leone, Palestine, Namibia, the United Kingdom and Rwanda.

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Health, News, HIV/AIDS, Toronto

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