Jul 31st, 2019

OHESI releases new report on HIV diagnoses in Ontario 2017

The Ontario HIV Epidemiology and Surveillance Initiative (OHESI) is pleased to announce the release of a new report titled “New HIV diagnoses in Ontario, 2017”.

View Report 

This report describes, updates and expands on the trends in HIV diagnoses in Ontario over the past decade (2008-2017) with a focus on new HIV diagnoses in 2017. It presents analyses by sex, age, race/ethnicity, geographic location and priority populations (i.e. subgroups of Ontarians who experience a higher risk of HIV).

This report is the first to use data from the Laboratory Enhancement Program (LEP) to better understand trends in new HIV diagnoses in Ontario. This new information allowed us to:

  • reduce double counting by removing HIV diagnoses with a documented history of a previous HIV-positive test result within Ontario
  • Identify HIV diagnoses with a documented history of a previous HIV-positive test result outside of Ontario (‘out-of-province’ diagnoses). These individuals were initially diagnosed (and likely infected) outside of the province, and then moved to Ontario and were tested again. To help target prevention programs, it is important to exclude these diagnoses for some analyses. At the same time, it is important to report on all new HIV diagnoses so the health system can plan services for all people living with HIV in the province.

A few key findings of the report include:

  • The number of new HIV diagnoses has increased each year since 2014. In 2017, there were a total of 916 new HIV diagnoses. When ‘out-of-province’ diagnoses were removed, there were 797 new HIV diagnoses.
  • Gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men still account for the largest proportion of HIV diagnoses while women account for approximately 1 of 5 new HIV diagnoses.
  • Between 2012 to 2017, the proportion of new HIV diagnoses has decreased among White men and increased among Black men while, over the same period, the proportion of new diagnoses has increased among White women and decreased among Black women.
  • Toronto has the highest number and rate of new HIV diagnoses in Ontario, almost twice the rate of the next highest health region (Ottawa).

Stay tuned for the 2017 HIV Testing Report, coming soon!