We are Bruyère

News and Stories

Research, News

A stethoscope laying on a bed

Recent study provides vital insight into the structure of HIV care in Canada


  • A recent study published by Dr. Claire Kendall and her team sheds new light on the structure of HIV care in Canada. 
  • The research team found that primary care settings offer a wider array of health services to Canadians living with HIV. 
  • The study also identified key gaps in care among the surveyed care settings.

A recent study published by Dr. Claire Kendall and her team sheds new light on the structure of HIV care in Canada. Their research builds on previous work in the field, helping to construct a better understanding of how Canadian care models can ensure comprehensive, timely, and accessible care for people living with HIV.

This study was conducted because of a need to understand how the Canadian health system cares for citizens living with HIV. Advancements in medicine have allowed for an increasing number of Canadians affected by the virus to live long and full lives. However, as this population lives longer, they often must simultaneously deal with other health complications associated with aging. This includes conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer. People living with HIV are often living with other complex conditions, thus requiring a new paradigm for HIV care delivery.

“If we can figure out how to care for people with HIV, we can figure out how to care for anyone,” explains Dr. Kendall, lead investigator on the study.

In her study, Dr. Kendall focuses on understanding where HIV care is delivered, how, by whom, and for whom. To accomplish this, she and her team surveyed 22 HIV care settings. Collectively these care settings treat 17,678 people living with HIV or about 23.4% of people living with HIV in Canada.

The study focused on two types of HIV care settings: primary care settings and specialist care settings in order to assess the similarities and differences between the two.

Dr. Kendall and her team found that primary care settings offered a greater range of services to HIV patients. These settings were more likely to offer services such as urinalysis, routine immunizations, and pap tests. They were also the only care settings to provide needle distribution services for their patients. Primary care settings were more likely to offer extended services for chronic disease self-management programs, procedural services (including minor surgery), and intra uterine device insertion—however only half of the surveyed primary care settings offered such services.

The research team identified some gaps in care among all of the surveyed HIV care settings. This includes a lack of broad access to preventative services, a lack of comprehensive access to mental health services, and a lack of access to team-based care in non-urban settings.

This study is a first-of-its-kind in Canada, and sets the groundwork for future studies on HIV care delivery.

The full study is published in the PLOS ONE scientific journal. To read the full article, click here.

If you are a member of the media and would like to book an interview with Dr. Kendall, please contact:

Eric Dicaire
Communications Coordinator, Bruyère Research Institute
(613) 562 – 6262 ex. 2956