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Quick Facts About HIV/AIDS

  • There is no vaccine or cure for HIV.
  • Most people who are newly infected with HIV have no symptoms and may not have symptoms for up to 10 years. In fact, for every person who is HIV positive, it is estimated that there are 10 people who are also positive but do not know it. These people could unknowingly spread the disease to others.
  • HIV is not spread by hugging, kissing, shaking hands, or through food or water.
  • Having a sexually transmitted infection (STI) (like Chlamydia or Gonorrhea) can increase your risk of getting HIV.
  • While HIV rates in Canada have increased in general over the past four years, they are growing most significantly within the following groups: women, youth and seniors.
  • Anonymous testing is available at Peel Public Health Healthy Sexuality Clinics. Anonymous testing ensures that only you know your test results and they are not linked to a file with your name or OHIP number on it. Contact Peel Public Health at 905-799-7700 to find a clinic near you.

HIV Globally

Globally, it is estimated in 2014 that:

  • 36.9 million people are living with HIV;
  • 2.0 million people were newly infected with HIV and;
  • 1.2 million people lost their lives to AIDS1.

HIV in Canada, Ontario and Peel

  • Every 3 hours a person in Canada is infected with HIV2.
  • In 2011, 71,300 people in Canada were living with HIV2.
  • In 2011, there were 3175 new cases of HIV in Canada2.
  • Youth between the ages of 15 and 29 years have accounted for 26.5% of all positive HIV test reports, since reporting began5.
  • In 2011, Ontario had the highest number of people living with HIV among all the provinces at 27,4202.
  • In 2013, there were 39 new HIV infections and 6 cases of AIDS diagnoses in Peel3.

HIV Risk Exposure

The top 3 HIV risk exposures are:

  1. Men who have sex with men
  2. Heterosexual contact and
  3. Injection drug use2

HIV by Gender

  • 1 in 4 people living with HIV in Canada are women2.
  • In Peel, there were more new HIV cases among men at 23 per 100,000 people compared to women at 16 cases per 100,000 people3.
  • Globally, women are 2.5 times more likely to become infected with HIV than males4.
  • Women make up almost 52% of all people living with HIV/AIDS worldwide. In sub-Saharan Africa, women and girls make up 60% of people living with HIV4.
  • Sexually active women aged 15 to 24 years are at particular risk for sexually transmitted infections, including HIV/AIDS, because the cells of their cervix are still maturing, and are therefore, more vulnerable to infection4.
  • Gender inequalities such as inability to negotiate safer sex, lack of access to treatment options, and not having rights as equal as men, including access to employment and education, increases women’s vulnerability to HIV/AIDS4.

*Note: The most recent available national and provincial statistics are from 2011. The most recent regional statistics are from 2013.

  1. UNAIDS - Core Epidemiology Slides 2015
  2. HIV/AIDS Epi Updates - Chapter 1 National HIV Prevalence and Incidence Estimates for 2011 Public Health Agency of Canada
  3. Peel Public Health - Health Status Data
  4. UNAIDS Strategy: Getting to Zero
  5. HIV/AIDS Epi Update - Chapter 4 HIV/AIDS Among Youth in Canada

Revised: Tuesday November 24 2015

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