Assistant Professor Jaris Swidrovich, right, is pictured with master's student Timothy Lim (photo by Steve Southon)

Jaris Swidrovich receives Connaught Community Partnership Research Program award

Jaris Swidrovich, an assistant professor, teaching stream in the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, has received an award from the Connaught Community Partnership Research Program for his project exploring barriers and opportunities involved in accessing HIV prevention drugs among urban Indigenous Peoples.

Many people in Canada at high risk of HIV are able to access highly effective preventive care with pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), but Indigenous Peoples face more barriers in getting the care they need.

To examine the issue, Swidrovich has partnered with community organizations in the Greater Toronto Area, including the 2-Spirited Peoples of the 1st Nations and Toronto Indigenous Harm Reduction, to host Talking Circles with Indigenous Peoples.

“We want to ensure that any folks who prescribe, suggest, dispense, monitor or follow patients on PrEP know why they’re not seeing Indigenous folks, or why they are seeing the ones who they are seeing,” Swidrovich said. “Hopefully we can provide some strategies for better knowledge, awareness, and uptake of PrEP.”

The Connaught Community Partnership Research Program aims to help create and nurture partnerships between U of T scholars and community partners that support community-driven research.

Swidrovich is one of four U of T scholars to receive awards from the program this year. The others are Ishtiaque Ahmed in the Faculty of Arts & ScienceAmaya Perez-Brumer at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, and Alicia Hawkins at U of T Mississauga.

Read the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy story