Federal Initiative to Address HIV/AIDS in Canada

The Federal Initiative to Address HIV/AIDS in Canada is a key element of the Government of Canada’s comprehensive approach to HIV/AIDS. The Federal Initiative provides funding for prevention and support programs reaching key priority populations, as well as research, surveillance, public awareness, and evaluation. The Federal Initiative signals a renewed and strengthened federal role in the Canadian response to HIV/AIDS.

The goals of the Federal Initiative are to:

  • Prevent the acquisition and transmission of new infections;
  • Slow the progression of the disease and improve quality of life;
  • Reduce the social and economic impact of HIV/AIDS; and
  • Contribute to the global effort to reduce the spread of HIV and mitigate the impact of the disease.

Three policy directions will guide federal action under the Federal Initiative:

Partnership and Engagement
Coherent action - locally, nationally and globally - by people, organizations and systems involved in the HIV/AIDS response is critical to reaching the goals of the Federal Initiative. To this end, federal, provincial, territorial and municipal partnerships will be enhanced while ensuring respect for jurisdictional mandates. An aligned inter- and intra-departmental approach will be put in place. It will focus on determinants of health and will have clearly defined roles and responsibilities. As well, increased engagement will be sought with the public health, professional, private and voluntary sectors, international partners and people living with and vulnerable to HIV/AIDS. Continued strong relationships with non-governmental organizations and community partners will be paramount.

Many people living with and vulnerable to HIV/AIDS have complex health needs and may be vulnerable to other communicable diseases, such as sexually transmitted infections and other blood-borne diseases. Federal HIV/AIDS programs will be linked with other programs, as appropriate, to ensure an integrated approach to program implementation. Programs will address barriers to services for people living with or vulnerable to multiple infections and conditions that have an impact on their health. Those affected will play a key role in overcoming these barriers.

The federal government will continue to foster mutual accountability among its delivery partners.

There are five areas of action under the Federal Initiative:

  • Program and policy interventions
  • Knowledge development
  • Communications and social marketing
  • Coordination, planning, evaluation and reporting
  • Global engagement

For more information on the Federal Initiative, please see The Federal Initiative to Address HIV/AIDS in Canada: Strengthening Federal Action in the Canadian Response to HIV/AIDS in Canada.

Roles and Responsibilities of Funded Departments and Agencies under the Federal Initiative to Address HIV/AIDS in Canada

Through the Federal Initiative, the Public Health Agency of Canada, Health Canada, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and Correctional Service Canada will collaborate with other federal government departments, provincial and territorial governments, non-governmental organizations, researchers, public health and health care professionals and people living with and vulnerable to HIV/AIDS in five areas of federal action: program and policy interventions; knowledge development; communications and social marketing; coordination, planning, evaluation and reporting; and global engagement.

Public Health Agency of Canada

The Public Health Agency of Canada is responsible for the overall coordination of the Federal Initiative, which includes joint planning, and monitoring and evaluation. The Agency is also responsible for communications, social marketing, national and regional programs, policy development, surveillance, laboratory science and global engagement focussing on technical assistance and policy advice.

The main involvement of PHAC is through the Centre for Communicable Diseases and Infection Control and the Regional Offices.

Health Canada

Health Canada is responsible for community-based HIV/AIDS education, prevention, and related services for First Nations on reserve and some Inuit communities. The department, in partnership with the Public Health Agency of Canada, is also responsible for coordinating global engagement activities under the Federal Initiative, as well as program evaluation activities.

Canadian Institutes of Health Research

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research, which is the Government of Canada's health research agency, is responsible for setting priorities and administering the Federal Initiative's extramural research program, in partnership with the Public Health Agency
of Canada.

Correctional Service Canada

Correctional Service Canada is responsible for providing health services, including those services related to the prevention, care, treatment of HIV/AIDS to offenders sentenced to imprisonment for two years or more.

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