The burden of cancer and the role of engagement in HIV care in mitigating cancer risk in people living with HIV in Ontario

In Progress

Access to Health Care

Cancer Screening

HIV/Sexually Transmitted and Blood-borne Infections

Cancer is the second-leading cause of death among people living with HIV in Ontario. HIV in and of itself is considered carcinogenic. However detailed, local information on the risk and prevalence among people with HIV in Ontario doesn’t exist.

How many people with HIV in Ontario have been diagnosed with cancer? Which cancers are most common among people with HIV in Ontario? Could HIV care be used as a pathway and tool for cancer prevention? This kind of program for cancer prevention has never been explored.

Gathering evidence on cancers among people living with HIV in Ontario.

We will use existing, provincial health-research data (i.e. from the Ontario HIV Treatment Network Cohort Study, administrative health data at ICES and the Ontario Cancer Registry), to calculate cancer incidence, prevalence and mortality among people with HIV, and compare these numbers to the general population of Ontario.

We will then examine the role of HIV care and how it affects HIV viral load and immune function to reduce cancer risk and improve patients’ general health and wellbeing.

We’ll use our findings to help plan effective cancer-prevention and care strategies in Ontario, and help guide the development of more holistic and effective HIV-care programs.

Access to Health Care

Cancer Screening

HIV/Sexually Transmitted and Blood-borne Infections

Dr. Ann Burchell

A national leader in HIV/STI research and Canada Research Chair in Sexually Transmitted Infection Prevention, Dr. Ann Burchell generates evidence for effective and practical strategies to prevent STIs and related cancers in high-risk populations, including people living with or at risk for HIV.


  • Dr. Tony Antoniou (St. Michael’s Hospital)
  • Dr. Jennifer Brooks (University of Toronto)
  • Dr. Curtis Cooper (Ottawa Hospital)
  • Dr. Michelle Cotterchio (Cancer Care Ontario)
  • Dr. Claire Kendall (Bruyere Research Institute)
  • Dr. Abigail Kroch (OHTN)
  • Joanne Lindsay
    Community Investigator
  • Dr. Rahim Moineddin (University of Toronto)
  • Dr. Colleen Price (Ontario Advisory Committee on HIV/AIDS)
  • Dr. Kate Salters (BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS)
  • Dr. Marek Smieja (McMaster University)
  • Dr. Zak Knowles (CATIE)


  • Jennifer Gillis, PhD Student
  • Ioana Nicolau, PhD Student


  • Ontario HIV Treatment Network


  • Ontario HIV Treatment Network
  • Cancer Care Ontario
  • ICES

Contact Info

Dr. Ann Burchell

Principal Investigator