Pushing Canadian HIV/AIDS research further
A one-of-a-kind national HIV/AIDS study, led by Simon Fraser University health scientist Robert Hogg, is getting new funding to expand its mandate.
Over the next five years, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) will inject $2.7 million into the Canadian Observational Cohort (CANOC). It is the country’s only longitudinal study of more than 10,000 HIV-positive individuals receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART) in Canada.
Hogg will use the new grant to establish the CANOC Collaborative Research Centre. It will expand the cohort and generate policy and practice recommendations to improve health outcomes for people living and aging with HIV across Canada.
In his role as a research scientist with B.C. Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS (BC-CfE), Hogg has been overseeing CANOC’s exploration of ART’s efficacy in B.C., Ontario and Quebec since 2008, when the network was created.
The national research team studies many clinically relevant topics, including regional differences in viral load testing between provinces, issues of co-infection with HIV and hepatitis C, and factors associated with late initiation of anti-retroviral treatment.
The new funding will help the team launch projects aimed at addressing a gap it has identified in national active surveillance of HIV disease and aging-related co-morbidities such as cancer and diseases that affect the heart, kidneys and liver. The projects will assess HIV’s impact on these co-morbidities.
“The Faculty of Health Sciences is very proud of Dr. Robert Hogg’s success,” says John O’Neil, dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences.
“Dr. Hogg is one of Canada’s foremost scientists working to reverse the HIV/AIDS epidemic. His work over the past several decades has been instrumental in improving the lives of many thousands of people suffering from this deadly disease.”
Adds Joy Johnson, SFU VP, Research: “We are grateful to the Government of Canada, which through CIHR is enabling SFU to build upon its previous work with the BC-CfE to foster policy-relevant research in HIV therapeutics, population and public health.
“With the establishment of the CANOC Centre, SFU, BC-CfE and its partners will foster and integrate research across the country to help Canadians better address the challenges presented by the disease, its treatment, and their intersection with other health factors such as aging.”
“CANOC is well-situated to respond to future research questions related to the Canadian HIV/AIDS epidemic,” says Hogg. “Our large and productive team of researchers will continue to monitor the impact and outcomes of modern ART on individuals living with HIV in Canada, while exploring co-morbidities associated with aging on ART.”