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Growing need for HIV/AIDS care in Toronto: Report

Toronto, December 1, 2011

Casey House white paper report cover
Read full report (pdf file)

To mark World AIDS Week, Casey House has released a report outlining new and significant challenges for Ontario's health care system in addressing the ongoing crisis of HIV/AIDS, particularly in Toronto. The report estimates that 1 in 120 adult Torontonians are HIV-positive, and that two Torontonians are newly infected with the disease every day.

The report contains new polling data revealing that Ontarians are concerned and compassionate about the well-being of people struggling with HIV/AIDS in our province. Also, the report outlines plans recently announced by Casey House to introduce a new Day Health Program, to more than double its capacity to provide health care services for people living with HIV/AIDS.

The report is authored by Dr. Kevin Gough (Director, Division of Infectious Diseases at St. Michael's Hospital) and Stephanie Karapita (Chief Executive Officer, Casey House). "Facing the Future: An Innovative Response to the Urgent HIV/AIDS Crisis in Toronto" will be launched at Voices of Hope, Casey House's annual awareness-raising concert marking World AIDS Day on December 1.

"The good news is that HIV/AIDS is no longer a death sentence," said Dr. Gough. "Today, if people have access to treatment, HIV/AIDS can be more like a chronic disease that waxes and wanes in severity throughout their lives. That's terrific news. But, we're seeing that as people age with HIV/AIDS their health care needs frequently escalate and can become very disabling." This is evident at Casey House, where clients cope with an average of five serious illnesses layered on top of their HIV infection.

As the population of people aging with HIV/AIDS continues to grow, Ontario needs a response to meet this increasing demand for flexible care that addresses the range of symptoms and needs of HIV/AIDS patients.