As part of the partnership between the CTN and CATIE, we have collaborated to put together a living document to provide the latest information on COVID-19 vaccination third doses for people living with HIV across Canada. This information, available here, will be updated as more guidance from across Canada becomes available. Below is an excerpt from the CATIE blog, written by Shari Margolese, the Community Co-lead of the CTN’s Cross Core Community Collaborative (C4) Teams.

As provinces across Canada begin to roll out third doses of COVID-19 vaccines, information about who qualifies for additional or booster doses is coming at us faster than you can say immunocompromised. But are we immunocompromised? Do we need a booster or a third dose? Is there a difference? Where can we find information tailored for people living with HIV?

Shari Margolese, Community Co-lead, C4 Teams

As a person who has been living with HIV for more than 28 years, I always thought I was immunocompromised. After all, every time I meet a new doctor or have a medical procedure, I’m told that extra precautions must be taken because I’m immunocompromised. Yet, it turns out, in regards to COVID-19 risk, I’m not considered immunocompromised if I have a high CD4 count and an undetectable viral load.

But wait, people born with HIV who have the same bloodwork stats as me are considered immune compromised enough, in some provinces, to be considered at risk for COVID-19. I consider myself to be relatively well-versed in medical jargon and finding information, but I’m confused, and information is hard to come by and difficult to find…

Head to CATIE’s website to read the full post!

Written By:

Shari Margolese

Shari Margolese has been an active advocate for people living with HIV since shortly after her own diagnosis in 1993. Shari currently serves as the community co-Lead for the Cross Core Community Collaborative Teams of the CIHR Canadian HIV Trials Network (CTN) and is the co-chair of the Canadian Cure Enterprise (CanCURE) community advisory committee. Shari lives in rural southwestern Ontario.