Access and use of health care and prevention services: Survey report among Indigenous participants who inject drugs in Canada, 2017-2019: Infographic

Results from Indigenous participants in the Tracks survey of people who inject drugs (PWID) in Canada, Phase 4, 2017-2019

What is the Tracks survey of PWID?

  • A behavioural and biological surveillance system that monitors the prevalence of HIV and hepatitis C as well as the associated risk behaviours among PWID in CanadaFootnote *
  • 42.2% of survey participants identified as Indigenous

Key results among Indigenous participants (n=997)

Access to primary health care

  • 72.2% had access to primary health care
  • 63.9% had a regular health care provider

Top 4 types of primary health care: among those who had access to primary health care

  • Walk-in clinic - 62.2%
  • Community health or wellness centre - 60.4%
  • Doctor's office - 58.1%
  • Hospital emergency room - 54.3%

Use of health and prevention services in the past 12 months

  • Needle and syringe distribution program - 90.5%
  • STBBIFootnote prevention and counselling - 54.2%
  • Condom distribution program - 48.9%
  • Mental health services - 28.5%

HIV and hepatitis C testing

  • 87.9% ever tested for HIV
  • 87.8% ever tested for hepatitis C

Used the services of a Traditional Healer in the past 12 months

  • 25.1% used the services of a Traditional Healer in the past 12 months
  • Higher among cisgender males (26.6%) than cisgender females (23.6%)
  • Higher among those living in an Indigenous community (31.1%) than those who were not (24.2%)
  • Higher among those who attended a residential school (29.5%) than those who did not (23.8%)
  • Higher among those with poor mental health (27.9%) than those with fair to excellent mental health (24.6%)

Experience of stigma and/or discrimination

  • 90.2% ever experienced stigma and/or discrimination in their lifetime
  • 84.6% experienced stigma and/or discrimination in the past 12 months
  • 45.7% avoided health care services because of stigma and/or discrimination in the past 12 months

PrEP awareness

  • 11.5% were aware of oral HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP)


This infographic was made through a collaboration between the Communities, Alliances And Networks (CAAN) and the Public Health Agency of Canada. The authors gratefully acknowledge the contribution of survey participants, the sentinel site teams and the site principal investigators (who worked with regional and local health authorities, researchers and community organizations) and the National Microbiology Laboratory. We would also like to thank the Writing Team: Meghan Sullivan, Donna Bush, Christian Hui, Melissa Morris, Tami Starlight, Renée Mashing, Leigh Jonah, and Jill Tarasuk. Many thanks to Matthew Bonn and Nelson Hollinger for their review of the infographic.


Footnote *

Phase 4 of the Tracks survey of PWID was conducted between 2017 and 2019 in 14 sentinel sites across Canada. A total of 2383 PWID participated in this survey and of those 2360 answered the survey question about Indigenous Status. This infographic focuses on results from Indigenous participants (977 of 2360). A comparison is made for cisgender females and males; however due to low cell counts this was not possible for participants who identified their gender as transfeminine or transmasculine. For more information, look for our full length report in the Canada Communicable Disease Report titled: Findings among Indigenous participants of the Tracks survey of people who inject drugs in Canada, Phase 4, 2017–2019.

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Footnote †

STBBI: sexually transmitted and blood-borne infection

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