Government of Canada supports community-based projects to address HIV, Hepatitis C, and other sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections
From: Public Health Agency of Canada
November 15, 2023
Today, during a visit to the Nine Circles Community Health Centre, the Honourable Mark Holland, Minister of Health, announced $14.5 million through the HIV and Hepatitis C Community Action Fund (CAF) and the Harm Reduction Fund (HRF) for 15 projects. This investment will support the work of community-based organizations addressing HIV, hepatitis C and other sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections (STBBI) in the Prairie region.
STBBI are preventable, treatable and in many cases curable. However, these infections remain a significant public health concern in Canada, especially among Indigenous, 2SLGBTQ+, and other equity-deserving communities. Today’s funding includes more than $10.7 million through the CAF, which will support 10 community-based interventions to address HIV, hepatitis C, and other STBBI. The Nine Circles Community Health Centre is receiving funding for its project, Accelerating our Response to HIV-STBBI’s in Manitoba through Innovation and Collective Impact. The project aims to increase knowledge on effective evidence-based HIV, hepatitis C and other STBBI prevention measures; strengthen capacity of service providers to improve the cultural safety and stigma-free nature of testing, prevention, treatment and ongoing support.
This announcement also includes over $3.7 million through the HRF, which will support 5 projects to help reduce HIV and hepatitis C among people who share injection and inhalation drug-use equipment. One project receiving funding under the HRF is the “By Us, For Us” Peer-led STBBI testing Innovation in Southern Manitoba. This project will improve access to effective STBBI prevention, testing, treatment, and ongoing care and support for people who use drugs by facilitating peer-led community based STBBI events. These events will create a stigma-free, culturally safe environment for people who use drugs to access health care and social services.
The Government of Canada is committed to working with and supporting community-based organizations, Indigenous partners, provinces and territories, researchers, public health, and the health sector to prevent new infections and support the global goal of ending HIV, hepatitis C and other STBBI as public health concerns.
“The contributions of community-based organizations like Nine Circles Community Health Centre are central to improving the health of people in Canada and our ability to reach global targets of ending STBBI as public health concerns by 2030. The funding announced today supports projects that will engage with people living with HIV, hepatitis C and other STBBI, as well as those at risk of infection, in order to help communities meet their prevention, testing, treatment, and support needs.”
The Honourable Mark Holland
Minister of Health
“The Government of Canada is committed to supporting the contributions of community-based organizations to improve the health of people in Canada, and to help those disproportionally affected key populations known to be more adversely affected by STBBI such as people who use drugs. The projects announced under the Harm Reduction Fund help community-based efforts to reduce stigma toward these populations, to prevent new and reoccurring infections and connect people to testing, prevention, treatment and care.”
The Honourable Ya’ara Saks
Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, and Associate Minister of Health
“Nine Circles is a grateful recipient of funding through the Community Action Fund. This funding allows us to bring together a broad range of partners all over Manitoba to address complex challenges related to HIV-STBBIs by supporting collaborative efforts that lead to collective impact. This support has allowed us to create innovative tools for education, assessment and action including scale up of HIV Self-Testing and Stigma reducing interventions.”
Executive Director, Nine Circles Community Health Centre
- In 2022, the Government of Canada invested $106.4 million to help address STBBI across Canada.
- This funding includes $46.2 million under the Federal Initiative to Address HIV/AIDS in Canada, and $8.9 million under the Hepatitis C Prevention, Support and Research Program.
- Through the HIV and Hepatitis C Community Action Fund, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) invests $26.4 million annually to support time-limited projects (up to 5 years) across Canada to address HIV, hepatitis C and other sexually transmitted infections (e.g. chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis).
- Through the Harm Reduction Fund, PHAC invests $7 million annually to support time-limited projects (3 to 5 years) across Canada that will help reduce HIV and hepatitis C among people who share injection and inhalation drug-use equipment.
- On August 1, 2022, the Government of Canada announced $17.9 million in time-limited funding (2022-2023) to improve access to testing, including $8M to community-based organizations to support their capacity to distribute and promote HIV self-tests and link people to care. This also included $9.9M provided to the National Microbiology Laboratory to expand community-based testing in northern, remote, and isolated communities including $1.2M to the BC Centre for Disease Control and BC’s First Nations Health Authority to build on previous community-based testing initiatives, including testing for STBBI.
- Efforts to address STBBI in Canada are guided by the Pan-Canadian Framework for Action on STBBI and the Government of Canada Five Year Action Plan on STBBI (Action Plan).
Office of the Honourable Mark Holland
Minister of Health
A/Director of Communications and Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Ya’ara Saks
Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health
Public Health Agency of Canada