Other : Hepatitis C Research
Academic Unit: Inquire with your unit
Memorial Deadline: Wednesday 26th, May 2021
External Deadline: Tuesday 1st, June 2021
Since 1999, PHAC and CIHR have collaborated on the Hepatitis C Research Initiative as part of PHAC’s Hepatitis C Prevention, Support and Research Program to support research efforts aimed to further understand hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and reduce the burden of hepatitis C through the generation, application and use of new knowledge. The availability of an anti-viral therapy that can cure hepatitis C has changed the public health and health research landscape. It has made it possible to envision that hepatitis C can realistically be eliminated in the next decade, and decrease the number of people living with the long-term consequences of viral hepatitis. While availability of anti-viral treatment will help facilitate elimination of the infection in the general population, hepatitis C disproportionately affects priority populations (i.e. people who inject drugs, immigrants and newcomers from countries where hepatitis C is endemic, Indigenous Peoples, gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (gbMSM), people with experience in the prison system) who are often not reached by the existing prevention and treatment strategies or at risk of reinfection. In 2016, it was estimated that 44% of Canadians living with hepatitis C remained undiagnosed. Elimination will not be possible without focusing efforts on reaching the undiagnosed, addressing social inequalities to improve health, and prevention strategies among priority populations.
Eliminating hepatitis C and other sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections (STBBI) is beyond the capacity and responsibility of any one government, institution, organization or sector in Canada. The shared transmission routes, common risk-taking behaviours, as well as social and structural risk factors shared between hepatitis C, HIV and other STBBI create opportunities to adopt a broader approach and streamline efforts to improve effectiveness of prevention, testing, linkage to care, and ongoing support and care efforts.
Reducing the health impact of sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections in Canada by 2030: A pan-Canadian STBBI framework for action sets an overarching and comprehensive cadre to support an integrated approach for STBBI across the cascade of care. Endorsed by federal, provincial and territorial Ministers of Health, the Pan-Canadian STBBI Framework for Action demonstrates joint commitment to contribute to global goals for elimination and achieve Canada’s strategic goals to 1) reduce the incidence of STBBI, including hepatitis C, in Canada, 2) improve access to testing, treatment, and ongoing care and support for those living with STBBI, and 3) reduce stigma and discrimination that create vulnerabilities to STBBI. Furthermore, Accelerating our response: Government of Canada five-year action plan on sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections sets out the federal government’s priorities to help advance the Pan-Canadian STBBI Framework for Action. Research to address the gaps along the full continuum of care, with a particular focus on implementation science, participatory and community-based research that is multi and interdisciplinary, and that integrates the knowledge and experience of affected populations is a key priority for the Government of Canada Five-Year Action Plan on STBBI.
The Hepatitis C Research Initiative will primarily encourage a focus on hepatitis C prevention, testing and improved health outcomes for those living with hepatitis C; however, the successful applicants will be required to collaborate with other relevant research networks and teams to minimize duplication of efforts and leverage other CIHR-funded projects and infrastructures. The Hepatitis C Research Initiative will build on existing investments in HIV, STBBI and harm reduction to support this integrated approach to STBBI along the continuum of care, while remaining focused on areas of research that are distinct and impactful for achieving Canada’s goal of reducing the health impact of hepatitis C in Canada by 2030.
Additional information can be found here.