HIV Outbreak in Thunder Bay


(THUNDER BAY, ON) – The Thunder Bay District Health Unit is declaring an HIV outbreak that is centered in homeless/under-housed population in the city of Thunder Bay. This is the same population that is disproportionately impacted by the ongoing tuberculosis outbreak.

The outbreak declaration comes after a recent spike of cases in May and June bringing the total number since January 1st to 8 cases with 2 additional cases under investigation. Transmission is through sexual activity and sharing needles for injection drug use. There are likely further cases that have not yet been diagnosed.

The total number of new HIV diagnoses in the entire health unit area in 2018 was 11.

In addition to work done by health care partners and the Thunder Bay Drug Strategy, the Health Unit has been closely monitoring HIV and other infectious diseases through increased testing, and outreach nursing and harm reduction programming. Distribution of clean needles and other harm reduction supplies is an important part of preventing HIV.

“The HIV outbreak, especially with the concurrent tuberculosis outbreak, is a crisis situation impacting individuals, families and communities already experiencing significant burden associated with infectious disease, mental health, and addiction issues as well as broader social, historical and systemic issues”, says Dr. Janet DeMille, Medical Officer of Health for TBDHU.

The Health Unit is working on an enhanced HIV/TB strategy to guide public health work in this area. As well, ongoing engagement of partners will strengthen a community-wide approach that considers prevention, testing, harm reduction and improving access to health care and other services for people.

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a virus that attacks cells that help the body fight infection, making a person more vulnerable to other infections and diseases. It is spread by being in direct contact with certain bodily fluids of a person with HIV, most commonly through sharing injection drug equipment or unprotected sex. If left untreated, HIV can lead to AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome). AIDS is the late stage of HIV infection that occurs when the body’s immune system is badly damaged because of the virus.

HIV cannot be cured. However, effective treatment options are available that can reduce the virus to undetectable levels at which point transmission doesn’t occur. The general population is not at increased risk due to this outbreak.

Source: TBDHU


12 Replies to “HIV Outbreak in Thunder Bay”

    1. Considering that people with untreated HIV can live into their elder years, letting “nature take it’s course” will only result in higher transmission rates. Check your ignorance.

    2. Jamiea;

      Between being infected with a very serious virulent disease and disgusting, unsavoury, filthy lifestyles, I doubt too many will be seeing their “elder years”. The sooner they check out, the better.

      No sympathy from me whatsoever.

  1. great another reason to hand out free needles to illegal drug users while legal insulin users have to buy theirs something wrong with this picture agreed with nature taking its course also Narcan should have a limit saved your life last time you didn’t learn too bad this time

    1. You’re a moron if you don’t understand the problem would be so much worse if there weren’t free needles handed out.

  2. Would not surprise me if a lot more of this happening than what is actually being diagnosed or reported. Probably no different in any other cities. And when more health cuts come it will just get worse.

    1. You can be certain that the numbers don’t represent the reality in Thunder Bay. So many lowlife druggers and alcoholics carry on in the most unsafe and filthy lifestyles. Sharing needles, and flagrant unprotected sex are sure to be spreading HIV at alarming levels.

      I suspect the number being represented for HIV infections is barely the tip of the iceberg. Just wait a year or so to see how bad it will get. Personally, I fear for my health every time I go to the TBRHSC or even clinics these days. When you see unusually high numbers of young people in hospitals and at clinics, rest assured they’re not there for pre-employment medical examinations. Keep your distance.

  3. Don’t come to thunder bay looking for love and affection all you get is drugs and infection. Our society has degenerated so much that everyone is screwing everyone else and infecting people. That is why I won’t date or go with anyone in Tbay. Ugh just gross. If you service hookers and people from bars your risk also goes up.

  4. Maybe it’s just Gods’ way of getting rid of the addicts once and for all. After all,- it’s a very small percentage who’ve beaten the “once an addict,- always an addict…” thing. Giving out free needles is only enabling them, and making them feel impervious to diseases. I’d like to see all streets free of addicts. Get rid of the vermin, and home invasions will go down, along with assaults, and thefts. I believe all addicts are merely pariahs on todays society, slowly bleeding and draining our resources that could better serve other areas. Bleeding heart Liberals always whine,” What if it was your kid, or parent, or good friend?” I say staunchly, BUH-BYE ADDICT! I’ve zero time or patience for their ilk! The sooner they die, the better for all society. Should make future addicts think twice before poking that needle in their arm, that all you’ve got to look forward to, is DEATH!

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