Anyone over the age of 16 who is using or starting PrEP in Ontario and can complete the study questionnaires is eligible to participate.
PrEP use is becoming more common, but there are still questions about how PrEP will be used by communities most impacted by the HIV epidemic and what potential benefits and challenges will arise as PrEP use grows. The Ontario PrEP Cohort study seeks to answer these questions by enrolling 1250 participants who are using PrEP across the province and collecting data on their health and behaviour while using PrEP, how they think and feel about using PrEP, and their experiences accessing healthcare. We to use this data to inform policies and decision – making regarding PrEP access across Ontario.
How will this research help LGBT people and communities?
A disproportionate burden of HIV occurs among gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (gbMSM), who make up 49.7% of prevalent infections and have a staggering 131-fold higher risk of HIV than other Canadian men.2 Other priority groups include African, Caribbean and Black (ACB) communities, who represent 25% of diagnoses,1 transgender women (TGW), and at-risk cisgender women (CGW), who represent 20.9% of diagnoses.3 There is a growing awareness that preventing new HIV infections is far more complex than previously understood.4 Given the powerful structural, historical, political, socioeconomic, clinical and behavioural factors that impact on HIV acquisition risk, and the complex interplay between these factors, no single intervention by itself is likely to be successful. Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) with daily oral tenofovir disoproxil fumarate and emtricitabine (TDF/FTC) is a safe, efficacious intervention that decreases HIV risk by up to 100% if adherence is high, making it a potential ‘game-changer’ in the fight against HIV.5,6 While TDF/FTC as PrEP has been available in Canada on a limited basis for several years, delays in regulatory approval compared to other developed countries has slowed the rollout of PrEP in Canada.7 Since Health Canada approved the use of TDF/FTC as PrEP in February 2016, attention is increasingly turning to wider PrEP implementation as a new opportunity to slow the HIV epidemic in Ontario. This research has the opportunity to better inform PrEP delivery and uptake in communities most impacted by HIV. .
Participants receive $30 for completing their first study questionnaire and $20 at after completing each follow-up questionnaire.
What mitigation measures are in place to reduce potential distress caused to participants as a result of being part of the research study?
There are no direct harms to participating in this study. Some of the questions on the questionnaire may be distressing, and the explicit language could be offensive to some.Should a participant feel distressed, a list of community support resources is attached to each informed consent and they will have the opportunity to speak with the study team.
When do you anticipate that this study's findings will be available?
Name: David Absalom
Dr. Darrell Tan & Ryan Lisk
Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Ontario HIV Treatment Network, Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research