Harper Government supports new research on HIV/AIDS

Collaborative research teams to address priority issues

For immediate release –

2012-60

Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq is pictured with researchers following a tour of the lab of HIV researchers Drs. Jonathan Angel and Paul MacPherson at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute. From left to right: Dr. Marc Ouellette, Dr. Jonathan Angel, Dr. Cécile Tremblay, Dr. Paul MacPherson, Minister Aglukkaq, Dr. Sean Rourke, Dr. Rashmi Kothary. Drs. Tremblay and Rourke recently received funding for HIV/AIDS research projects from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

Ottawa, Ontario (November 27, 2012) - The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health, today announced Harper Government funding for new research to address HIV/AIDS in Canada. The funding will support two community-based research centres, including one focused on helping Aboriginal Canadians, and four teams that will examine the link between HIV and health issues related to aging and mental health.

"Our Government is addressing HIV/AIDS from a number of different perspectives, recognizing that there is no single solution," said Minister Aglukkaq. "Today's investment will increase our understanding of HIV/AIDS and help us identify new ways to improve the health of those affected by it."

The projects are funded by the Harper Government through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research HIV/AIDS Research Initiative.

Four of the projects will specifically address complex issues related to aging, neurological decline and chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, in people living with HIV/AIDS. These research teams will be funded through the CIHR HIV Comorbidity Research Agenda, which was developed in collaboration with a number of partner organizations and designed to directly meet the priorities of people living with HIV.

"HIV/AIDS researchers, stakeholders and community organizations have all played a key role in developing the comorbidity research agenda and will continue to contribute to and benefit from the investment in these research teams," said Dr. Marc Ouellette, Scientific Director, CIHR Institute of Infection and Immunity.

The two collaborative centres focused on community-based research for HIV/AIDS will be led by the Ontario HIV Treatment Network and the Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network. With this funding, these organizations will unite community-based organizations, researchers and people living with HIV/AIDS in national networks focused on building capacity and addressing health issues for at-risk populations and infected individuals through a community-centered research approach.

Minister Aglukkaq (left) visits HIV researchers Dr. Paul MacPherson (middle) and Dr. Jonathan Angel (right) in their lab at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute.

Minister Aglukkaq (left) visits HIV researchers Dr. Paul MacPherson (middle) and Dr. Jonathan Angel (right) in their lab at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute.

"Our centre will mobilize and inspire regional teams of researchers and community-based agencies across the country. Grounded in their regions, these teams will conduct relevant, rigorous research that will respond to local issues and needs," said Dr. Sean Rourke, Scientific and Executive Director, Ontario HIV Treatment Network. "Their findings will lead to better interventions and services for people living with or at risk of HIV, enhancing their health and well-being. At the national level, the Centre will build healthier communities and further our efforts to get ahead of the HIV epidemic by bringing regional teams together into a network that will learn from one another, share their findings, build on each other's knowledge, and transfer and adapt successful interventions from one region to another."

Fact Sheet

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Further information:
Cailin Rodgers, Office of the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, 613-957-0200
David Coulombe, CIHR Media Relations, 613-941-4563 Cell: 613-808-7526

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) is the Government of Canada's health research investment agency. CIHR's mission is to create new scientific knowledge and to enable its translation into improved health, more effective health services and products, and a strengthened Canadian health care system. Composed of 13 Institutes, CIHR provides leadership and support to more than 14,100 health researchers and trainees across Canada.