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Call for Members - OHTN Governance Committee

August , 2014

The OHTN Cohort Study (OCS) is an ongoing research study that collects clinical, social and behavioural information about people living with HIV in Ontario. The OCS was established to improve our understanding of HIV and to inform HIV prevention, care and treatment strategies for people living with HIV and groups at increased risk of HIV infection. The OCS is a cornerstone of the OHTN and is the first community-governed, prospective research study of people living with HIV. Over the years, the OCS has built capacity for recruitment (with approximately 4000 participants) and research in 10 sites across Ontario, developed a rich new dataset including comprehensive social determinants of health and clinical information, and engaged more than 40 Ontario scientists to develop relevant research proposals. The OCS has contributed to both national (CANOC) and international (NA- ACCORD) cohort research collaborations. With more than 50,000 people living with HIV in the NA-ACCORD, several ground-breaking studies have been done that have had significant impact on clinical care recommendations.

What Does the Governance Committee Do?

When researchers apply to use data gathered by the OCS, the Governance Committee evaluates each project proposal for its relevance to the community and the ethics of the intended data use. The Governance Committee also recommends policies relating to data security and participant confidentiality. This committee performs a critical role for the study: ensuring that both the needs and anonymity of OCS participants are respected, while also confirming that the research coming from the OCS is beneficial and relevant. The mandate of the Governance Committee stipulates that at minimum, 50% plus one of the members on the Governance Committee are living with HIV. The OCS Governance Committee meets quarterly and all expenses related to participation on the Committee are reimbursed by the OHTN.

Are You Interested in Joining the OCS Governance Committee?

Are you a community member, clinician, or researcher based in Ontario? Do you have a combination of the following skills and attributes?

  • A passion for improving the quality of life of people living with HIV
  • An understanding of the importance of research in providing evidence to drive change
  • An ability to weigh the risks and benefits related to research
  • An understanding of the importance of privacy of health information
  • Demonstrated leadership skills (including leadership training)
  • An understanding of the issues affecting people living with HIV and vulnerable communities
  • A commitment to promoting the work of the OCS, sharing information and new knowledge

In an effort to best reflect the communities we serve, the OCS Governance Committee would particularly like to express our desire for applicants from different genders, ethno-cultural backgrounds, and geographical areas. We also encourage younger applicants (to represent the "youth" in our cohort) to apply, along with anyone who identifies with an HIV priority population in Ontario (see: ) or has significant experience working with any of the priority populations.

Please submit a one-page cover letter / bio / summary of experience to Brooke Ellis, OCS Research Coordinator, at by August 29th, 2014 if you are interested in being considered a new member for the OCS Governance Committee.



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