Welcome to MyCare

In partnership with St. Joseph’s Infectious Disease Care Program, the Health Centre’s team of outreach workers and nurses connect with people who are living with HIV and have barriers to accessing treatment.

These clients often are experiencing poverty, homelessness, addictions and mental health challenges and frequent incarceration. The MyCare team ensures people get the treatment they need through outreach to client’s homes, the streets, homeless shelters, Elgin Middlesex Detention Centre and other social service agencies.

What is MyCare?

The MyCare program is an integrated HIV treatment program designed for clients who face barriers to accessing traditional HIV care through the Infectious Diseases Care Program (IDCP). Through partnership with IDCP we provide comprehensive care to 36 clients living with complex challenges offering full time nursing and outreach support. The MyCare team incorporates outreach and assertive engagement to meet clients where they are at and help facilitate HIV care that works best for them. All MyCare clients are rostered under Health Outreach and we work closely with the interdisciplinary team to meet our clients complex needs. MyCare uses a case management approach to address both physical health and the social determinants of health and work with various community agencies to support our clients. Clients have access to all of the health centre services as well as HIV clinics where Dr. Devlin, an infectious diseases doctor from IDCP, comes to the health centre and holds a satellite clinic, allowing clients to receive all of their care where they feel most comfortable.

Impact of MyCare

Since its inception in 2016, the MyCare team has assisted clients in stabilizing on HIV therapy and has helped some clients start therapy for the first time after years of avoiding treatment due to stigma. HIV is a lifelong illness and our team works with clients throughout their journey with HIV, whether it’s a period of stability or a time where they are facing exceptional difficulties. Currently, 81% of our clients have a suppressed HIV viral load (the amount of HIV circulating in their blood) in a population of clients who at some point have all experienced significant difficulty getting their HIV under control. We work closely with our clients who are not suppressed to develop strategies to help them succeed. We use unique and intensive strategies to facilitate adherence including daily outreach to dispense medications. Being able to develop close rapport with our clients is truly invaluable in our work. We are fortunate to be able to provide an alternative to hospital based HIV care and support optimal health outcomes.

What Does Undetectable = Untransmittable Mean

Content courtesy of Regional HIV AIDS Connection

Over the last ten years, scientists around the world have engaged in many small and large-scale studies that examine the possibility of HIV transmission/acquisition when a person living with HIV who has an undetectable viral load has condomless sex with a person who is not living with HIV. Given the strength of that evidence, the Prevention Action Campaign produced the following Consensus Statement, as a summary conclusion, and it is now endorsed by over 550 organizations in 71 different countries:

People living with HIV on ART [Antiretroviral Therapy] with an undetectable viral load in their blood have a negligible risk of sexual transmission of HIV. Depending on the drugs employed it may take as long as six months for the viral load to become undetectable. Continued and reliable HIV suppression requires selection of appropriate agents and excellent adherence to treatment. HIV viral suppression should be monitored to assure both personal health and public health benefits.

This statement means that if you are a person living with HIV and you follow the treatment steps outlined above and attain and maintain an undetectable viral load (as measured in the bloodstream), you can have condomless sex and know that you will not transmit HIV to your sexual partner(s). Viral load refers to the amount of HIV in the blood of a person living with HIV. HIV treatment can reduce the amount of HIV in the blood to a low level said to be “undetectable.” To quote various other medical professionals, when it comes to sex in this context, you are uninfectious, you are not “dangerous” to your partner(s), and there is effectively no risk whatsoever of you transmitting HIV.

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Contact MyCare

For more information, contact the Health Centre at 519-660-0874 x 1354.