The federal government is putting up more than $30 million to tackle HIV and Hepatitis C for 37 projects across the province, including some here in the Northwest.
Elevate NWO will see $2.6 million of those dollars for a program geared towards peer to peer support and so much more according to Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos.
"But also to build better outreach and interventions while fostering accessible sustainable and stigma free prevention treatment and support across Northern Ontario."
While located in the city of Thunder Bay, the program will support communities in the region, including Kenora, which has seen an increase of HIV cases over the last year.
The funding was initiated last year but only announced this week due to Covid restrictions.
Executive Director Holly Gauvin says the project is an evidence based one supported by research from two separate initiatives
"In those research projects it was identified that people who are living with or at risk of HIV Hep C or overdose or other harms related to our scope of practice, prefer to get their information from peers and from family, and who better to intervene and to provide you with that education and that support when you need it the most, than family, than friends and then loved ones."
This will help those close connections to the vulnerable population gain access to the information required to help.
While not one the agenda the topic of safe supply was brought forward, specifically on what more could be done to better help those seeking services.
Gauvin says a stable funding policy would help protect people from flipping back and forth between a toxic and safe drug supply.
"We have them in this really robust program that provides really life changing intervention and then in a year if that funding isn't there then we're saying to them 'You need to go back to what is a potentially life threatening supply'."
Safe consumption sites were also brought forward, however it was made it clear this funding does not address that issue but Duclos says safe supply, safe consumption and the prevention of blood borne infections are connected to each other.