Saskatoon HIV Study

The Star Phoenix has a report on a Saskatoon based HIV study.

Half of those at the highest risk of contracting HIV in Saskatoon have already been dealt one of the harshest blows in life: They were sexually assaulted as children.

That’s one of the findings of a research project that is following 1,000 injection drug users and sex trade workers in the city for two years.

The research — an element of the Saskatoon HIV/AIDS Reduction (of harm) Program, or SHARP — is aimed at determining why HIV is spreading at an exponential rate in a city where the number of new cases of HIV per year rose to 94 in 2009 from 16 only five years earlier.

Once there’s a better understanding of why HIV is spreading, there will be a better chance of preventing new cases in the future, said Mark Lemstra, the lead researcher on the project.

“You can’t prevent something when you don’t know what the problem is,” he said. “Two years from now, we want to be able to specifically recommend actions to reduce HIV.”

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