From Gilead Sciences Canada, Inc.
Despite the continued advancement in and the availability of effective HIV biomedical interventions, Canada still sees a significant number of new HIV cases in Canada. The Public Health Agency of Canada reported that there were 2,122 new HIV infection cases in 20191. Although the number of new cases decreased slightly compared to 2018, there has been a 4% increase in new HIV diagnoses over the past five years2. There are multiple types and levels of HIV prevention efforts, including biomedical- and community-based, that are available. However, the benefits of HIV prevention efforts are not fully realized here in Canada due to multiple barriers and health disparities.
To advance Canada’s efforts to reach the UNAIDS 95-95-95 goals by 2030, Gilead Sciences Canada, Inc. is launching the Canada to Zero program. This program will support well-defined community-based research (CBR) projects that aim to advance HIV prevention efforts in Canada, utilizing the concept of undetectable=untransmittable (U=U). Gilead welcomes innovative project proposals on U=U that aim to:
• reduce the new HIV infections in priority populations;
• improve the cascade of care in Canada
Up to $30,000 CAD will be awarded per project, with an estimated goal of 10 projects to be funded under the Canada to Zero program.
• Applicant’s organization must be classified as a not-for-profit, including but not limited to providing health or social services, education or advocacy for populations affected by HIV.
• Proposals should intend to positively impact specific HIV communities within Canada.
• The proposed budget is ≤ $30,000 CAD.
• The proposed project design will not take longer than 12 months to complete.
Gilead Sciences Canada, Inc. will consider support for project proposals that address any of the following, but is not limited to:
• Exploration of innovative partnership models to deliver U=U education for HIV prevention
• Development and implementation of innovative peer-based models and strategies—including the use of peer navigators—to improve the cascade of care, using the concept of U=U
• Characterizing facilitators and barriers to implementing U=U-based HIV prevention strategies and interventions
• Adapting U=U-based information strategies to develop a unique, localized HIV prevention intervention model
• Development and evaluation of digital engagement strategies to increase the U=U messaging uptake for HIV prevention
• Characterizing the experience of consuming U=U-based information for HIV prevention in rural/remote areas
Gilead Sciences Canada, Inc. will evaluate project proposals based on the following timelines:
– June 1, 2021: submission window opens
– July 31, 2021: submission window closes
All submissions will be reviewed, prior to judging, for completeness and to ensure the quality of applications. If further clarity is sought on an application, the applicant will be notified and, if needed, a re‐submission before the closing date.
After the closing date, a review committee—consisting of Gilead staff, a healthcare provider, and HIV community representatives—will evaluate and rank all proposals. Applicants will be notified of final outcomes by the end of September 2021.