"Ontario’s HIV rates have decreased, from 7.4 cases per 100,000 in 2005 to 5.5 cases per 100,000 in 2015. Locally, HIV rates increased from 5.9 cases per 100,000 in 2005, to 9.0 cases per 100,000 in 2015."
Interestingly, the report also mentions the issue of tamper-resistant opioid medications, and the unintended effects they have had on PWIDs. [Check out my previous blog post on tamper-resistant opioids]
"Contextually, in 2012, the Ontario government de-listed the pain medication OxyContin and replaced it with the alternative OxyNEO. One reason for this decision was to switch to a pain medication that is not as easily crushed for snorting or injecting. While intended to reduce the prevalence of injecting, community partners have reported that this has not had the intended effect as it does not address the underlying mental health and social determinants of health issues that cause injection drug use. Research indicates that the addition of filler agents in various oral prescription drugs when injected is associated with higher rates of endocarditis, soft tissue infections, and increases in communicable diseases such as HCV."
What isn't mentioned in the report is a call for Safe Injection Sites, which would be deeply beneficial to PWIDs in London, Ontario. Chris Mackie did, however, make the following comments to the London Free Press:
“Do I hope this HIV outbreak will help to convince people (safe injection sites are needed)? Yes I do,” Dr. Chris Mackie, medical officer of health for London and Middlesex County said Tuesday. “We will probably need one in our community if not more than one.”
I hope so, too.