As you may be aware, on August 1, 2022 at the 24th International AIDS Conference, the Honourable Minister of Health, Jean-Yves Duclos, announced a new investment of $8 million (link to announcement). This funding will make HIV test kits available through community-based organizations to the populations they serve. HIV self-test kits offer a safe, reliable, and confidential way for people to screen for HIV infection while significantly reducing the barriers to seeking care often created by stigma and discrimination.
This new initiative is time-limited to this fiscal year and aims to increase access to self-test kits to reduce rates of the undiagnosed, and assist individuals in linking them to care and treatment and help Canada reach the 95-95-95 UNAIDS targets. Given the timeline for this initiative, we will first be focused on providing funding to qualifying community-based organizations that could most immediately support the distribution of these kits through their projects funded under the HIV and Hepatitis C Community Action Fund (CAF) and the Harm Reduction Fund (HRF). Project activities can include resources for staffing support and/or educational materials, but must include the ability to distribute test kits and provide linkages to care as a complementary activity to the existing project.
To be considered as qualifying recipients for a funding amendment, organizations are required to have a PHAC-funded CAF or HRF project that:
- offers outreach services to at least one key population;
- provides programming that encourages the uptake of HIV testing;
- has programming that reaches marginalized populations through supervised injection/consumption sites or needle exchange programs;
- provides linkages to care for those testing negative or positive; or
- offers client navigation services designed to assist people seeking out testing.
To expedite this process, the Program has pre-selected potential funding recipients for this fiscal year (see document).
We would ask you to review the criteria above, the list of possible funding recipients, and advise us by return email no later than September 2, 2022 as to whether:
- your organization has been identified as having a qualifying objective/activity and you are interested in receiving an amendment for funding
- your organization has been identified as having a qualifying objective/activity and you are not interested in receiving an amendment for funding
If your organization has not been identified in the attached table, but you believe you have qualifying objectives/activities that could include test kit distribution, please let us know by return email at your earliest convenience.
Thank you for your consideration of this request.