Research at AVI

AVI’s mission is to serve the needs of people infected and affected by HIV and hepatitis C. We take evidence-based action to prevent infection, provide support, and reduce stigma. To help us achieve this mission, AVI engages in research that will inform the development, content and delivery of prevention and support programming that addresses the needs of those infected with or at-risk of HIV/AIDS and/or hepatitis C.

Our involvement in research is often done in partnership with university-based or community-based researchers. AVI also makes efforts to engage in knowledge translation and mobilization, bring research back to the community by hosting presentations for staff, clients, other service providers and the community.

The purpose of research at AVI is to:

  • Provide support for AVI’s programs and services;
  • Provide support for the organization’s strategic goals;
  • Build strong community networks;
  • Involve the people impacted by research in meaningful ways; and
  • Enhance the capacity among AVI staff, volunteers, clients and partner organizations.

If you are interested in discussing a research proposal, please contact us at

Research Publications

Local Research
February 28th, 2020


  • In the case of an OD, BREATH IS MOST IMPORTANT!  
  • 1 breath every 5 SECONDS!
  • If muscle rigidity is present, you can increase naloxone to every 2-3 minutes!




  1. GREEN Rocky texture/feel - Chemical taste/smell - 5/5 potency & legs - Caused OD in Vic
  2. BLACK PASTE  - Positive for fentanyl & benzos. Causing long ODs. - Reported from East Van Jan 22
  3. PURPLE - Hard to the touch - Sweet taste/smell - Caused OD in Vic - Reported Jan 29 - Similar purple down tested positive for benzos at AVI. 
  4. CLEAR GREY - Hard rocky texture/ feel - 5/5 potency, 4/5 legs - Said to give ‘intense mellow, almost benzo like’ - Reported Jan 14
  5. RED & GREEN - Pebble– like texture - Tested positive for benzos & fentanyl - Circling East Van Jan 30
  6. CLEAR WHITE - hard taste/feel -  Potent taste - 5/5 potency, 2/5 legs. - Reported in Vic

 ***Remember Benzo OD’s can re-occur AFTER Narcan***

  1. LIGHT PINK METH  - Tested positive for fentanyl - Reported from East Van on Jan 22


  • SOLID1056 North Park
    Mondays (Ask our outreach teams) Afternoon - members only
  • AVI 713 Johnson St 
    Tuesday & Wednesdays 3-7 PM
  • Lantern Services 820 Cormorant Street
    Mondays 5-9 PM
  • Testing site at 941 Pandora street– Coming Soon! 

​FUN FACT Marijuana is legal in North Korea and not considered to be a narcotic drug! 
** This helps provide more info, but can never tell you is something is safe/unsafe. That is up to you to decide! 

Community-Based Research
April 20th, 2019

Warnings this week:

(04/18/2019) Cocaine powder tested positive for cocaine and methamphetamine at Insite. Check yours drugs an an OPS or SCS.   You can still overdose by smoking!! 

(04/10/2019) Heroin tested in DTES found to contain dextromethorphan  (DXM), a cough suppressant. May cause hallucinations & dissociations. Use naloxone. Other symptoms will pass. Check your drugs. Don’t use alone.



  1. DARK BROWN/ RED before and after cooking-    when smoked on foil after cooking, looks like the color of dried blood - appears to have a hard, rocky texture -  metallic smell and taste, hints of vinegar - 4.5/5 potency, 3/5 legs (reported 04/13/2019 from Arbutus shelter) 
    ** Use the buddy system!!


  1. The University of Victoria is offering a free and confidential drug checking service as part of a pilot project. If your 19+, and can provide a small sample, check them out at: SOLID (1139 Yates) Mondays and Thursdays 12pm-4pm AVI (713 Johnson) Tuesdays and Wednesdays between 3pm-7pm.   ** This helps provide more info, but can never tell you is something is safe/unsafe. That is up to you to decide! 
Community-Based Research
June 30th, 2016
Canadian HIV Researcher Database

Canadian HIV Researcher Database sponsored by the Canadian Association for HIV Research (CAHR) and the Canadian HIV Vaccine Initiative (CHVI) Research and Development Alliance Coordinating Office (ACO)

Local Research
July 31st, 2012
An examination of injection drug use trends in Victoria and Vancouver, BC after the closure of Victoria's only fixed-site needle and syringe programme

Andrew Ivsins, Clifton Chow, Scott Macdonald, Tim Stockwell, Kate Vallance, David C. Marsh, Warren Michelow, Cameron Duff (2012). International Journal of Drug Policy. Needle and syringe programmes (NSPs) have been established as effective harm reduction initiatives to reduce injection drug use (IDU)-related risk behaviours, including sharing needles. On May 31, 2008, Victoria, BC's only fixed site NSP was shut down due to community and political pressure. This study examines and compares IDU trends in Victoria with those in Vancouver, BC, a city which has not experienced any similar disruption of IDU-related public health measures.

Local Research
July 1st, 2011
Streetlight People: Perspectives of Street Outreach Services Staff on the Loss of Harm Reduction Services in Victoria, BC

Hobbs, Heather (2011). Unpublished Master's Thesis, University of Victoria.

Local Research
February 23rd, 2011
High prevalence of food insecurity among HIV-infected individuals receiving HAART in a resource-rich setting

Anema A, Weiser SD, Fernandes KA, Ding E, Brandson EK, Palmer A, Montaner JS, Hogg RS. AIDS Care. 2011 Feb;23(2):221-30.

Local Research
January 31st, 2011
Suboptimal use of HIV drug resistance testing in a universal health-care setting

Eyawo O, Fernandes KA, Brandson EK, Palmer A, Chan K, Lima VD, Harrigan RP, Montaner JS, Hogg RS. AIDS Care. 2011 Jan;23(1):42-51.

Local Research
January 15th, 2011
HIV incidence and prevalence among aboriginal peoples in Canada

Duncan KC, Reading C, Borwein AM, Murray MC, Palmer A, Michelow W, Samji H, Lima VD, Montaner JS, Hogg RS. AIDS Behav. 2011 Jan;15(1):214-27.

Local Research
July 1st, 2010
HIV antiviral drug resistance: patient comprehension

Racey CS, Zhang W, Brandson EK, Fernandes KA, Tzemis D, Harrigan PR, Montaner JS, Barrios R, Toy J, Hogg RS. AIDS Care. 2010 Jul;22(7):816-26.

Community-Based Research
June 30th, 2008
Greater Involvement of People With HIV/AIDS policy brief from UNAIDS

A brief outlining the GIPA principle – a principle that aims to realize the rights and responsibilities of people living with HIV, including their right to self-determination and participation in decision-making processes that affect their lives.

Community-Based Research
June 30th, 2008
UNAIDS – HIV and AIDS related ethical principles

Ethical principles to guide international, national, community and individual responses to HIV/AIDS.

Local Research
February 23rd, 2001
Home is where the HAART is: an examination of factors affecting neighbourhood perceptions among people with HIV/AIDS on antiretroviral therapy

Vasarhelyi K, Brandson EK, Palmer AK, Fernandes KA, Zhang W, Moore DM, Montaner JS, Hogg RS. AIDS Care, 2001 Feb; 23(2):245-5

Community-Based Research
January 24th, 2001
BC HIV/AIDS Community Based Research

This program is a provincial program funded by the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR) bringing together AIDS Service Organizations and academic researchers.