HIV/AIDS Epi Updates
In Canada, Aboriginal people remain disproportionately affected by HIV. It is estimated that
in 2011, Aboriginal people made up 12.2% of new HIV infections and 8.9% of those living
with HIV in Canada.
- Injection drug use remains the main route of HIV transmission among Aboriginal people.
The estimated proportion of new HIV infections in 2011 attributed to injection drug
use exposure was much higher among Aboriginal people (58.1%) than among all
- HIV has a significant impact on Aboriginal females. Between 1998 and 2012, nearly half
(47.3%) of all positive HIV test reports among Aboriginal people were females, compared
with 20.1% of reports for people of other ethnicity.
- Age at the time of HIV diagnosis for Aboriginal people tends to be younger than for people
of other ethnicity. Almost one-third (31.6%) of the positive HIV test reports from 1998 to
2012 among Aboriginal people were youth aged 15 to 29 years old, compared with 22.2%
among those of other ethnicity.
- HIV risk among Aboriginal people is closely linked to a variety of determinants of
health that influence vulnerability to infection, including poverty, unstable housing and
homelessness, mental health and addictions, traumatic childhood experiences, racism
and the multi-generational effects of colonialism and the residential school system.