The Blueprint

4. Early intervention

Services designed to be in place early and to get ahead of the epidemic have the potential to radically change the course of HIV disease in Canada and around the world. For example:

  • countries that implemented needle exchange programs early and provided other comprehensive services were able to significantly slow the epidemic among people who use injection drugs
  • by offering HIV testing to all women during pregnancy, Canada has almost eliminated mother-to-child transmission and significantly reduced the number of children born with HIV
  • the earlier people with HIV are diagnosed, the better chance they have to maintain their health, receive appropriate treatment, potentially prolong their lives, and take steps to prevent HIV transmission wherever possible

Dealing with HIV forces us to be bold and to question how services are provided.