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The number of people living with HIV in Ontario has increased over the past decade. This is the result of improved HIV treatment, extended life expectancy, migration of people into Ontario, as well as new diagnoses.




WHAI seeks to be informed by and amplify the experiences of those who face structural discrimination and exclusion, impacting HIV risk and the health outcomes of those living with HIV. As such, our work focuses on engagement with cis and Trans women, 2-Spirited and Non-Binary Femme people who are living with HIV, African, Caribbean and Black (ACB), Indigenous, or newcomers, who use drugs or substances, have experiences with violence and / or have been / are incarcerated. Within these communities, our work includes those who are pregnant or parenting, living with different abilities, and span from young adults to seniors.

Throughout our work we seek to remember the importance of prioritizing and centring communities of women who face disproportionate structural risk factors related to HIV, as well as being a reminder that gender is not binary, and the importance of thoughtfulness towards inclusivity for Trans, 2-Spirited, and Non-Binary femme people in WHAI work. In our work, we capitalize identities, except “cis." This is to remind us of the privilege and space afforded cis people, and to support the amplification of identities outside gender-binary constructions.

Each year in Ontario, between 20 and 25% of new diagnoses are women.


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In 2020, 44.4% of women diagnosed with HIV for the first time were Black.

OHESI: Snapshot of HIV Diagnoses and the HIV Care Cascade Among Women in Ontario (2022)  opens in a new window


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In 2020, 13% of women diagnosed with HIV for the first time were Indigenous.

OHESI: Snapshot of HIV Diagnoses and the HIV Care Cascade Among Women in Ontario (2022)  opens in a new window

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Trans women are 10 times more likely to report having been diagnosed with HIV than Ontarians overall.
WHAI & OHESI: Women & HIV in Ontario (2020)

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25% of women diagnosed for the first time in 2020, were attributed to injection drug use, compared to 8.2% of males diagnosed for the first.

OHESI: HIV Diagnoses in Ontario (2020)


“HIV impacts all of us uniquely. But our social location and our identities puts some women at more risk. Discrimination, racism, poverty – these are structural realities that impact femme people in our communities."

— Community experience shared from Ontario

Helpful Resources


Reclaiming Power and Place: The Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls

An executive summary report from the National Inquiry Into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.

Toolkit, WHAI Resource

Women* & HIV in Ontario: An Introductory Toolkit

This toolkit has been updated (2023) and includes pull out sections on women & HIV in Ontario, populations of women disproportionately impacted, and strategies to build knowledge and capacity to support women in local communities. The tools include organizational and individual assessment tools, and an action planning for change tool, among others.