‘New HIV diagnoses’ includes all individuals receiving a confirmed HIV-positive diagnosis in Ontario. This includes individuals who have previously tested positive for HIV outside of Ontario, but does not include individuals who have previously tested positive for HIV in Ontario.
A reactive rapid/point-of-care test result (i.e. suggestive of an HIV-positive result) must be confirmed through laboratory testing to be counted as a new HIV diagnosis. Individuals with a previous record of an HIV-positive test within Ontario are excluded to prevent double-counting. The LEP is used to remove tests which cannot be linked by identifying information on the requisition form, but are indicated as a repeat test. This will remove many additional duplicates, but if repeat test information is missing or unknown, or a patient tests HIV-positive more than once through non-nominal testing, duplicate tests will still remain.
Individuals diagnosed with HIV for the first time outside of Ontario, but who subsequently moved to the province and tested again, are included in the ‘new HIV diagnosis’ analyses but excluded in the ‘out-of-province’ analyses. This means that migration can potentially influence trends in new diagnoses in Ontario. However, it’s still important to report on ‘new HIV diagnoses’ as all new diagnoses affect planning and policies to support care for people living with HIV.