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Government of Canada and its partners invest in a cure for HIV

Research teams to advance science and develop new treatment approaches

Montreal (November 28, 2013) - The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health, today announced Harper Government funding for new research to address HIV/AIDS in Canada. The funding will support two community-based research centres, including one focused on helping Aboriginal Canadians, and four teams that will examine the link between HIV and health issues related to aging and mental health.

"Our Government remains committed to improving the health and quality of life for Canadians living with HIV/AIDS", said Minister Ambrose. "Scientific evidence is growing indicating that the time to increase our efforts in the search for a cure is now. The research announced today will make an important contribution to the global effort to find a cure for HIV."

Today's announcement includes funding for two research projects:

  • Dr. Eric Cohen at the Institut de recherches cliniques de Montréal will lead the Canadian HIV Cure Enterprise: a collaboration of leading Canadian HIV researchers aimed at finding new approaches to curing HIV infection.
  • Dr. Hugo Soudeyns at the Centre hospitalier universitaire Sainte-Justine will lead a project focused on curing babies and children who acquire HIV from their mothers during pregnancy.
  • The projects are funded through the Canadian Initiative for HIV Cure Research, a partnership between the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research (CANFAR) and the International AIDS Society (IAS). The initiative is aligned with the priorities of Towards an HIV Cure, a global scientific strategy led by the IAS.

    "There are huge personal, societal and economic costs to the global HIV epidemic", said Dr. Marc Ouellette, Scientific Director for the CIHR Institute of Infection and Immunity. "Finding a cure is critical to turning the tide and bringing an end to AIDS. Canadian researchers have much to contribute to this global effort and we are proud to be supporting these new research projects with our partners".

    "Finding a cure for HIV and AIDS is within reach and together with our partners, we have an opportunity to support a global research initiative dedicated to that purpose," says Christopher Bunting, President and Chief Executive Officer, CANFAR. "With HIV on the rise it is more important than ever to end AIDS globally and we know that through research and collaboration, we have a chance to bring this epidemic to its knees."

    "This new initiative is very welcome. CIHR has been involved in the IAS Towards an HIV cure initiative since it was launched and this is a further sign of Canada's strong commitment in this field of HIV science. Increased funding for research as well as international collaborations are crucial if we are to develop as fast as possible a strategy to cure HIV or at least induce a permanent remission of the infection. I salute the partners of this new project that will surely bring further data to advance our quest to find a cure for HIV", said Francoise Barré-Sinoussi, President of the International AIDS Society.

    Fact Sheet

    ###

    Further information:
    Michael Bolkenius, Office of the Honourable Minister Ambrose, 613-957-0200 Véronique Perron, CIHR Media Relations, 613-941-4563, Cell: 613-277-8045 Ashley Zacarias, Weber Shandwick (CANFAR),
    azacarias@webershandwick.com, 416-642-7961

    About the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) is the Government of Canada's health research investment agency. CIHR's mission is to create new scientific knowledge and to enable its translation into improved health, more effective health services and products, and a strengthened health care system for Canadians. Composed of 13 Institutes, CIHR provides leadership and support to more than 12,600 health researchers and trainees across Canada.

    About CANFAR
    The Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research is Canada's only independent charitable foundation dedicated to eliminating HIV and AIDS through research. By funding promising Canadian AIDS research and spreading awareness through education campaigns, CANFAR is working to end AIDS globally.

    Source: Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)


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