About the CIHR HIV Comorbidity Research Agenda

In its Strategic Plan, the CIHR HIV/AIDS Research Initiative identified six priority research themes which are guiding its strategic investments in HIV/AIDS research for 2008-2013.

The Initiative has launched numerous funding opportunities in order to build capacity and foster research across all of the priority areas, but in 2009 it was identified that the priority theme of Issues of Co-infection and Comorbidity required specific targeted focus and investments. This HIV Comorbidity Research Agenda and its various funding opportunities are the culmination of consultations on the topic and CIHR's commitment to address this important and emerging area of HIV/AIDS research.

Development of the HIV Comorbidity Research Agenda

The complexities of comorbidities for people living with HIV/AIDS – and the need for further research in this area – are extensive. Given this fact, the CIHR HIV/AIDS Research Initiative set out to carefully consider all of these complexities, the priorities of people living with HIV/AIDS and opportunities for Canadian health research to have the greatest impact in this field. To this end, the Initiative conducted a number of key activities in order to develop strong evidence to guide the development of the HIV Comorbidity Research Agenda.

An independent national consultation was conducted to determine what stakeholders viewed as the key issues and priorities for research in HIV/AIDS comorbidities and what research funding programs would be of greatest benefit. The consultation included two components: an electronic survey and targeted key informant interviews.

The CIHR HIV/AIDS Research Initiative and Ontario HIV Treatment Network (OHTN) jointly sponsored an overview of systematic reviews of topics related to comorbidity in HIV/AIDS. You can download a copy of the overview from the OHTN Research Inventory Database.

To further support the development of the research agenda the CIHR HIV/AIDS Research Initiative hosted an invitational Roundtable on Issues of Comorbidities in HIV/AIDS. The summary report of the Roundtable meeting is available on our web site.

The outcomes of these activities were carefully considered by the CIHR HIV/AIDS Research Initiative and the CIHR HIV/AIDS Research Advisory Committee in the development and framing of this CIHR HIV/AIDS Comorbidity Research Agenda.

Goals and Objectives

The overall goal of the CIHR HIV Comorbidity Research Agenda is to improve the health and well being of people living with HIV/AIDS in Canada through research focused on understanding, preventing and addressing their co-morbid health conditions.

The objectives of the agenda are to:

  • Build a national, collaborative, cross-disciplinary research response to address the challenges of comorbidities for people living with HIV/AIDS in Canada; and
  • Support excellent and innovative projects at various stages of the research and knowledge translation continuum.

Given the complex health care needs of people living with HIV, this research agenda is also aligned with and contributing to the CIHR Roadmap Signature Initiative in Community-Based Primary Health Care (CBPHC).

Funding Opportunities

The CIHR HIV/AIDS Research Initiative started launching funding opportunities related to the priority research theme of comorbidities during the development of this research agenda in order to stimulate greater interest in the field and well position the research community to respond to future, larger opportunities.

In 2010, the following developmental opportunities were launched:

These opportunities will be complemented by the launch of the following funding opportunities in June/July 2011:

  • Operating Grants (Priority Announcement);
  • Team Grants; and
  • Knowledge Synthesis Grants (Priority Announcement).

The HIV Comorbidity Research Agenda will also be addressed through partnership on the following funding opportunity anticipated to be launched in the Fall/Winter of 2011:

  • Community-based Primary Health Care Team Grants

For more information on CIHR funding opportunities, please visit the CIHR webpage, Find Funding.

Relevant Research Areas

Through the HIV Comorbidity Research Agenda, the CIHR HIV/AIDS Research Initiative will provide funding for applications that are determined to be relevant to the topics of "HIV and Aging" and "HIV, Mental Health and Neurological Conditions". Further details on the relevant research areas are available on the CIHR website.


Because of the multi-sectoral, interdisciplinary nature of HIV comorbidity research this research agenda involves a diverse array of stakeholders and partners. Information regarding partner involvement is provided in the partner section of the specific HIV Comorbidity funding opportunities.

Contact Information

For further information on this and other aspects of the CIHR HIV/AIDS Research Initiative, please contact: HIVAIDS-VIHSIDA@cihr-irsc.gc.ca.

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