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HIV in Ontario > What is HIV?

What is HIV?

Did you know…

In 2020, an estimated 22,461 people were living with HIV in Ontario

Talk to your partner about their HIV status, STIs, and sexual health strategies. If they are a regular partner, do not assume their status or sexual health has not changed since the last time you discussed this with them. For tips and strategies, click here.

We now know more about HIV than we ever have. We know that if you are diagnosed, connected to care, and start HIV treatment early you can have a long, healthy, full life. We also know that HIV treatment and maintaining an undetectable viral load is not only great for your health but also makes it unlikely that the virus can be passed on. We also have more tools than ever before to prevent the transmission of HIV.

In Ontario, there is a system of prevention, testing, care, and support. There are many programs and resources to respond to HIV in the province. HelloOntario is a website that is here to help you get connected.

As a newcomer to Ontario, it is important to know where you can find the information and help you need. If you or someone you know is living with HIV/AIDS, this resource is here to provide you with basic information about HIV, and to point you in the right direction for treatment, support, and care services.

For  overall HIV trends in Ontario, click here

HIV has affected people in countries all over the world, and HIV has been a health issue in Ontario since the epidemic began. There are 22,461 people living with HIV in Ontario.  Due to available treatment in Canada, HIV is a chronic manageable condition and with treatment, care, and support, people with HIV can live a long life. If you are living with HIV, you can still have healthy friendships, as well as romantic and sexual relationships. With proper medical care and guidance, you can have children who do not have HIV. You do not have to be alone.

For information about how HIV can be transmitted, follow this link.

There are many programs and services for people living with HIV in Ontario. To find some near you, call the Ontario AIDS & Sexual Health InfoLine Ontario for information in English and many other languages call: 416-392-2437 or 1-800-668-2437 (toll-free in Ontario), and for French call: 1-800-267-7432 (toll-free in Ontario). The InfoLine is free and anonymous. You can also visit Sexual Health Ontario

In Ontario, you can dial 211 on your phone or visit 211 Ontario to find an AIDS service organization (ASO) and other HIV/AIDS programs in your city or town. Use your location to find services near you.

You can also visit and search for an ASO using your postal code, or the name of your city or town.

HIV in Ontario

The Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) weakens your immune system. Your immune system helps your body fight diseases and sickness. With treatment, you can live a long and healthy life. When left untreated, HIV will damage the immune system and lead to other health complications or health conditions.  HIV symptoms may not always be apparent, which means you can have it and not know it. The only way to know for sure is by getting tested.

For more information on HIV, go to CATIE or Health Care for information in English and many other languages call 416-392-2437 or 1-800-668-2437 (toll-free in Ontario), and for French call: 1-800-267-7432 (toll-free in Ontario). The InfoLine is free and anonymous.