World AIDS Day

The Faculty of Applied Health Sciences

World AIDS Day

World AIDS Day is an annual event to raise awareness and support those affected by the virus.

Every December first since 1988, World Aids day has conjured up attention. Looking beyond this one-day event, we can see the on-going research and knowledge that continues to develop.

Trent Newmeyer, a sociologist in the Recreation and Leisure Studies Department, has been studying pregnancy options for the HIV community.

His latest research will be a qualitative evaluation of the Positive Pregnancy program created in 2006 at St. Michael’s Hospital. Working with program creators Jay MacGillivray (midwife) and Dr. Mark Yudin (Obstetrician) along with Dr. Mona Loutfy of Women’s College Research Institute, they have recently been granted $25,000 by the Ontario AIDS Bureau to further their research in this area.

The Positive Pregnancy Program is a multidisciplinary program established for the care of HIV-positive pregnant women. Involving the community, multiple meetings occurred prior to program initiation with HIV-positive women and with community organizations serving this population. The aim was to provide supportive and comprehensive care from a variety of perspectives, including medical, social, and psychological.

Over the past five years, the program has significantly grown and evolved. During prenatal appointments, women are seen by the physician, midwife, and also by a prenatal nurse and social worker. There are established linkages with HIV providers, Pediatricians, and pharmacists. The program continues to have ongoing involvement from the community and its organizations as the program evolves and grows.

Since the launch of the program, there has been a rapid increase in the number of women attending each year. The program has cared for over 100 women in the past five years, with five women in 2006 and more than 25 in 2010. The program has also attracted significant attention, both from within the medical and health care communities and beyond.

Trent Newmeyer
Trent Newmeyer

Assistant Professor
Department of
Recreation and Leisure