The Ministerial Advisory Council on the Federal Initiative to Address HIV/AIDS in Canada was created to advise the Minister of Health on aspects of HIV/AIDS that have a national scope. The Council’s membership reflects a broad range of experience and knowledge, and includes several Canadians living with HIV/AIDS. The main focus of its work is on evaluating and monitoring the Federal Initiative to Address HIV/AIDS in Canada, championing current and emerging issues, and offering a vision for the long-term.
Canadians are facing a complex and changing epidemic. Increasingly, HIV/AIDS is infecting the more vulnerable segments of our population, especially those who are marginalized by socio-economic factors, those who use intravenous drugs, women living in poverty, many Aboriginal communities, prison inmates and young gay men. Because the epidemic is shifting, the Canadian Strategy on HIV/AIDS must be flexible and adaptable. One of the strongest recommendations arising from the 1997 consultation process was the creation of an independent body to advise the Minister of Health on the changing face of the epidemic and to advise on the implementation of the Strategy. The Ministerial Advisory Council on the Federal Initiative to Address HIV/AIDS in Canada was established in the spring of 1998.
The Ministerial Advisory Council on the Federal Initiative to Address HIV/AIDS in Canada supports the effective and efficient implementation of the Strategy by providing advice to the Minister on all pan-Canadian aspects of HIV/AIDS. More specifically, the Council promotes alliances and joint efforts; assists in the development of long-term plans for future action on HIV/AIDS; recommends actions to reach communities at risk; and works to keep the Canadian Strategy on HIV/AIDS flexible and responsive to the changing nature of the epidemic.
To fulfill this challenging mandate, Council Members have been chosen for their experience and collective expertise which spans scientific research knowledge to front-line experience with emerging at-risk groups. Because the Council must be the voice of those infected and affected by HIV/AIDS, five of the fifteen Council members are people living with HIV/AIDS.
To encourage collaborative efforts and strong linkages with the provinces and territories, the provincial Co-Chair of the Federal/Provincial/Territorial Advisory Committee on AIDS holds an ex-officio position on the Ministerial Advisory Council on the Federal Initiative to Address HIV/AIDS in Canada.
The Minister of Health meets with the Council at least once a year to receive its advice and recommendations and reports annually to Canadians on the programs of the Federal Initiative to address HIV/AIDS in Canada.
For more information contact:
Grafton Spooner, Secretariat
Ministerial Advisory Council on the Federal Initiative to
Address HIV/AIDS in Canada
HIV/AIDS Policy, Coordination and Programs Division
Public Health Agency of Canada
100 Eglantine Driveway, Tunney’s Pasture
Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0K9
Address Locator: 0601A
Dr. Brian Conway graduated from McGill University medical school in 1982. After completing a residency in Internal Medicine at the same institution, he moved to the University of Manitoba for further post-graduate training in Infectious Diseases. In 1988, he was awarded a Medical Research Council of Canada fellowship for an HIV/AIDS fellowship at Harvard University, under the direction of Dr. Martin Hirsch. In 1990, he joined the staff at the University of Ottawa, in the Departments of Medicine and Microbiology & Immunology.
Dr. Conway moved to Vancouver in 1994, and is now Associate Professor in the Department of Anaesthesiology, Pharmacology & Therapeutics at the University of British Columbia. He is the Coordinator of the Downtown Infectious Diseases Clinic in Vancouver, specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of viral infections, including HSV and VZV. He is also the Infectious Diseases Consultant at the Pender Community Health Center, serving the inner city population, with a high prevalence of HIV and HCV.
Over the past 5 years, Dr. Conway has played a leadership role in the development of novel strategies for the delivery of care for HIV, HCV, genital herpes and other infections in the inner city. These strategies have emphasized the simplification of therapeutic options and integration of medical, addiction and psychological aspects of care. He is currently holding a 5-year grant from the National Institute of Health to study acute/early HIV infection, particularly in intravenous drug users. He has also received funding from Vancouver Coastal Health as well as the Vancouver Foundation to develop a model for the treatment of HCV genotype 2 & 3 infection within a directly observed therapy (DOT) program.
Dr. Conway has over 100 publications to his credit and is the Associate Editor (Clinical) of the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes (JAIDS). He was the Chairman of the Annual Conference of the Canadian Association of HIV Research, held in Vancouver May 12-15, 2005, and is now the President of the Association.
In the community, Dr. Conway is active within the national body Societé Santé en français, sitting on its board. He is also the president of RésoSanté Colombie-Britannique, one of the 17 networks within the Societé. Among his many accomplishments within this role in the successful publication of the Guide Santé Colombie-Britannique, a self-help guide (with a 1-800 nursing line support) distributed to all francophone households in British Columbia and the Yukon. He is also currently directing a project to identify francophone resources for the training of family physicians in the province.
Mr. John C. Plater was born and raised in the Collingwood, Ontario area. He graduated from the University of Toronto in 1993 with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and with a Bachelor of Law (LLB) from Osgoode Hall Law School in 1996. Called to the Bar in 1997, he practised with ARCH: A Legal Resource Centre for People with Disabilities until February of 2000 when he started his own law practice.
Mr. Plater is the Past President of Hemophilia Ontario and a former Vice President of the Canadian Hemophilia Society. Presently, he is Chair of the Ontario Hepatitis C Task Force and past Co-Chair of the Ontario HIV/AIDS Advisory Committee (OACHA). In the past, John served for several years as the chair of the HIV/AIDS Community Advisory Panel of St. Michael’s Hospital, and sat briefly as a member of the Board of Directors of the HIV/AIDS Legal Clinic of Ontario. In 2006 John was honoured with the Ontario AIDS Network’s Social Justice in HIV/AIDS Award.
As a person with severe factor VIII haemophilia, John was infected with both HIV and hepatitis C. He and his wife Karen currently live on a small hobby farm in the Municipality of Grey Highlands, Ontario.
Dr. Jonathan B. Angel graduated from medical school at the University of Toronto in 1988, which was followed by an Internal Medicine residency in Toronto. After one year as the Chief Medical Resident at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver, he did his clinical and research infectious diseases training at the New England Medical Center/Tufts University in Boston supported by an MRC fellowship. In 1995, Dr. Angel joined the Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine at the Ottawa General Hospital. Since that time he has been involved in basic science and clinical research as well as teaching and patient care. His research is focused in three main areas 1) basic science: mechanisms of HIV-induced cellular immune dysfunction, 2) translational research: the impact of antiretroviral and immune-based therapies on immune function in patients with HIV infection, and 3) clinical trials: studies of immune-based therapies including HIV vaccines, in patients with HIV infection. Dr. Angel is currently Professor of Medicine at the University of Ottawa, a Senior Scientist in the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute and Director of the Clinician Investigator Program at the University of Ottawa. He is an Ontario HIV Treatment Network (OHTN) Career Scientist and has research funding from Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the OHTN. Dr. Angel is the Director of the HIV Clinic at the Ottawa Hospital and is President of the Canadian Society for Clinical Investigation.
Dr. Gerry Mugford is a Clinical Epidemiologist, Coordinator of the Graduate Clinical Epidemiology Program and Associate Professor of Medicine and Psychiatry in the Faculty of Medicine, Memorial University of Newfoundland. His current research activities includes: HPV Genotyping of Atlantic Canadians living with HIV/AIDS; Prescribing and Usage Patterns of Benzodiazepines; Depression, Anxiety and Hopelessness in patients with Chronic Illnesses including HIV/AIDS and Biopsychosocial studies of Aging. He provides individual psychotherapy to HIV positive patients treated at the Eastern Heath Infectious Diseases Clinics. He is a founding member of ACHIVE and AIRN, which are organizations actively involved in improving the quality of care for HIV positive persons. He is a member of the National Canadian Research Training Program in Hepatitis C. He has completed doctoral studies at both Memorial University and McMaster University and is certified in Medical and Analytical Hypnotherapy.
Dr. Jacobet Edith Wambayi started working in the field of HIV/AIDS in Kenya in the late 1980s and continues to be involved with Provincial, National and International AIDS Service Organizations as well as non-AIDS Service Organizations. She is the Executive Director of her own consulting firm in Toronto “Health and Life Promotion Research Consultancy” providing research and community education and support services to hospitals, local and international organizations as well as individuals. Recently, Edith worked in Bangladesh as Field Officer, Disease Surveillance, with WHO/CPHA/CDC. Previously, Edith was Senior Research Officer with the Kenya Medical Research Institute, Ministry of Health, Kenya, where she led teams in countrywide disease surveillance and monitoring. She organized national and community workshops on HIV/AIDS targeting community leaders, opinion leaders, administrators and members of the civil society, thus influencing the Kenya Government in bringing about tangible changes in HIV/AIDS legislation. Edith holds PhD and MSc Degrees in Medical Sciences, a Bachelor’s Degree in Education and Science, a Diploma in Community-Based Program Planning and Management, as well as several certificates in the health field.
Ms. Faye Katzman, a communication consultant and educator, graduated from the University of Toronto with a Master's Degree in Education. Now based in Saskatoon, she facilitates workshops dedicated to health, wellness and quality-of-life issues especially as they relate to bleeding disorders, HIV and HCV.
She is a past president of Hemophilia Saskatchewan and presently serves on the Ministerial Advisory Committee on the Federal Initiative to Address HIV/AIDS in Canada, and on the HIV/HCV Committee of the Canadian Hemophilia Society.
Her advocacy work on behalf of HIV victims of the tainted blood tragedy resulted in the 2007 indexation of provincial HIV compensation payments. She taught communication arts at a post-secondary college for ten years, trained fitness instructors for the YWCA and continues to teach ZenFit. The YWCA acknowledged her work in the areas of Health and Wellness by naming her a recipient of the 'Woman of Distinction' Award. Her ongoing interests in traditional approaches to healing and the Medicine Wheel are reflected in her workshops and presentations.
Dr. Jacqueline Gahagan, is Professor of Health Promotion in the School of Health and Human Performance at Dalhousie University where she also holds cross appointments in Community Health and Epidemiology, International Development Studies, Gender Studies, and Nursing. Professor Gahagan teaches courses in measurement and evaluation, community health promotion, health promotion theory, and women’s health and the environment at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. She is a member of the editorial board for several peer-reviewed journals, including Health Care for Women International and the Canadian Journal of Public Health. Jacqueline has been involved in the field of HIV/AIDS advocacy, activism and research for nearly two decades and her current research interests focus on the social and behavioural aspects of HIV/Hep C and STIs. Specifically, Jacqueline’s current research projects include a gender-based exploration of health service utilization among young rural males, the development of national-level sexual health indicators, access to research ethics boards among community-based researchers, social networks of injection drug users, and HIV counselling and testing. Prior to joining Dalhousie University, Jacqueline worked in public health as a health promotion specialist, a program evaluation specialist and as a health promotion consultant. Jacqueline is also a founding member of the Atlantic Interdisciplinary Research Network (AIRN), a member of the Ministerial Council on HIV/AIDS, and a former member of the board of directors’ for the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, the Canadian Association for HIV Research, the Nova-Scotia Gambia Association, the Interagency Coalition on AIDS and Development, amongst others.
Ms. Michelle George is of Squamish First Nations descent and resides in North Vancouver, British Columbia. Michelle is a member of the Tsleil Waututh Nation. Michelle is currently the Executive Director of the Red Road HIV/AIDS Network Society. The Red Road HIV/AIDS Network Society is an aboriginal non-governmental organization that leads and supports a provincial network of aboriginal HIV/AIDS service providers and key stakeholders. Integral to RRHAN is the active participation of Aboriginal persons with HIV/AIDS (APHAs), their families and communities. RRHAN seeks to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS and supports equitable access to holistic, culturally sensitive HIV/AIDS care, treatment and support by: promoting wellness, providing forums for individuals and organizations, developing and nurturing partnerships.
Michelle has worked in Aboriginal HIV/AIDS for over 12 years and is also currently the President of Healing Our Spirit BC Aboriginal HIV/AIDS Society and sits on various Aboriginal committees and working groups including the Northern Task Force on HIV/AIDS, Renewing Our Responses and the Cedar Project.
Michelle George is dedicated to improving the quality of life of Aboriginal peoples living with HIV/AIDS, ensuring there is cultural inclusion in all service and policy development relevant to Aboriginal peoples living with HIV/AIDS and working towards the reduction of new infections in Aboriginal populations. Michelle is honoured to be a Member of the Ministerial Advisory Council on the Federal Initiative to Address HIV/AIDS in Canada.
Mr. Ken Monteith is the Executive Director of the Coalition des organismes communautaires québécois de lutte contre le Sida (COCQ-Sida), Québec's network of AIDS organizations. Trained as a Lawyer, he worked in the community youth sector as Legal Coordinator and Executive Director of Head & Hands / À deux mains for nine years before joining AIDS Community Care Montréal / Sida bénévoles Montréal (ACCM) in 1999 as its Executive Director. After a number of years working on the Board of Directors of COCQ-Sida, Mr. Monteith assumed his present position in 2008, and continues to serve as COCQ-Sida's representative to the Canadian Treatment Action Council (CTAC). He was appointed to the federal Ministerial Council on HIV/AIDS in 2003. He holds degrees in Industrial Relations, Common and Civil Law from McGill University and was a member of the Québec Bar from 1991 to 2001, when he resigned to devote himself more fully to his community work on HIV/AIDS. Mr. Monteith was diagnosed with advanced HIV infection in 1997.
Mr. David M. Nelson is a Cree and Icelandic man from Edmonton, Alberta who is living with HIV. He graduated from Grant MacEwan Community College in 1990 from the Social Work Diploma Program. He has been aware and involved with HIV/AIDS Support and Prevention since 1982. Along with the Social Work Diploma, he continues to further his knowledge through participation in trainings, conferences and education. Over the years he has been an active member of numerous National and International committees and groups addressing the issues related to HIV/AIDS. His experience has included the New Mexico Community Planning Group (CPG) for Regions 5 and 7; The Governors AIDS Task Force; Nation Advisory on GLBT Committee; and the National Rural HIV Advisory Committee; Advisory Board Member to the Office of Minority Health Resource Center. More recently, in Canada, he participated in the release of Leading Together document, participates in the HOPE Committee in Alberta, and is a mentor to peers interested in meaningful involvement in the HIV movement.
He has also held seats on Boards involved with improving healthcare for Aboriginal people and those infected and affected with HIV/AIDS. Throughout his career he has worked across North America and been employed within the non-profit sector, as a private contractor, and as a presenter for conferences. David continues to advocate for people living with HIV, while he currently focuses on his health and well-being. Mr. Nelson has been a member of the Ministerial Advisory Council on the Federal Initiative to Address HIV/AIDS in Canada since 2005.
Dr. Anita Rachlis is Professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, University of Toronto. She has worked in HIV/AIDS care since 1983 at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and has been involved in clinical research in the treatment of opportunistic infections and antiretroviral therapy. She received a Council Award in February 2002 from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario for her work in the care and treatment of HIV patients. She facilitated the development of the Canadian HIV Primary Care Mentorship Program and the Ontario HIV Observational Database (HOOD). Dr. Rachlis is a member of the Board of Directors for the Ontario HIV Treatment Network; Associate Director, Ontario Region, of the Canadian HIV Trials Network; and serves as a scientific reviewer for granting agencies. She has been a member of the Ontario Advisory Committee on HIV/AIDS. She was appointed to the Ministerial Council of HIV/AIDS in September 2003. She is also Clerkship Director, Undergraduate Medical Program, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto.
Ms. Sheena Sargeant is the Executive Director of the Vancouver Friends for Life Society in Vancouver, an organization that serves as a catalyst to enhance the wellness of individuals living with life-threatening illness by providing complementary and alternative health and support services. She brings a strong background in strategic HIV/AIDS leadership, having been the Executive Director of YouthCO AIDS Society, Canada’s only youth-driven organization providing HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C services to young people, from 2004-2007. She also holds an extensive experience in community-based HIV/AIDS work in the areas of both women and youth. In addition to her previous work as Communications Coordinator at Positive Women's Network, she spent over four years at YouthCO AIDS Society working directly with youth to develop HIV/AIDS prevention education programming at various local, regional and international levels. Ms. Sargeant also served consecutive appointments as member and Co-Chair of the BC Ministry of Health Planning's HIV/AIDS Advisory Committee in 2000-2001, and has been a member of the Ministerial Advisory Council on the Federal Initiative to Address HIV/AIDS in Canada since 2001.
Ms. Monique Doolittle-Romas is the Executive Director of the Canadian AIDS Society (CAS). Prior to joining CAS, Monique was the Regional Director of the Canadian Hearing Society and the Director of Organizational Development for the United Way of Canada – Centraide Canada. Monique has a demonstrated track record in fundraising and building partnerships with Government, Corporations and Non-profit Organizations. Monique is also experienced with the media, having previously served as the Coordinator of Public Relations for the Laurentian Hospital. Monique is bilingual, French and English, and is proficient in American Sign Language. Monique holds a Masters of Public Administration from Queen’s University as well as an Honours Bachelor of Commerce from Laurentian University.