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Newcomers to Canada are overrepresented in national HIV prevalence. One’s citizenship status in Canada (Canadian citizen, permanent resident, temporary resident, immigrant, refugee, or asylum seeker) has a direct impact on ability to access publically provided health care and drug coverage, thereby limiting the accessibility of affordable treatment.

Citizenship status directly influences social determinants of health through legislative barriers imposed on newcomers by government bodies.  Examples of such legislation are laws and regulations preventing newcomers from accessing housing, health insurance, employment opportunities, training, schooling and childcare for parents. For people living with HIV, the impact of these restrictions is magnified and hinders the ability of people to manage their illness. In addition, social determinants of health including culture and gender, among others, play a critical role in contributing to personal treatment access barriers for many newcomers.

CTAC is currently developing the Tools for Access curriculum to inform workshop and material development that will address barriers to treatment access by targeting both newcomers who are living with HIV or Viral Hepatitis co-infection as well as those who provide health and settlement services to them.  CTAC also collaborates and encourages dialogue and action with a variety of key stakeholders to promote changes to institutional level barriers impeding access to treatment, care and support for this population.

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