Information for researchers

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Information for researchers

Researchers can access OCS data by completing the following steps:

  1. Submit an OCS Concept Sheet or an OCS-ICES Concept Sheet
  2. Request a Data Scan
  3. Develop a research proposal using the Research Project Proposal Checklist
  4. Sign an OCS Researcher Confidentiality Agreement
  5. Undergo scientific, community and ethical reviews.

The OCS Research Coordinator can answer any questions you have about this process.

OCS research

Plain language fact sheets summarizing recent research findings are available on the following topics:

Clinical data

  • Data from electronic records and paper chart abstractions similar in content, but coding systems may differ, some elements may be available from one source/clinic but not another
  • In general, clinical data available from both sources includes:
    • Participant demographics
    • HIV exposure category and date of diagnosis
    • Diagnostic tests (e.g., CD4 cell counts, HIV viral load)
    • AIDS, HIV-related and co-morbid diagnoses
    • Prescriptions
    • Weight
    • Date and cause of death (if applicable)

Questionnaire data

  • Up to 2007, participants at selected sites self-completed brief 4-page questionnaire
  • Since 2007, annual, interviewer-administered standardized questionnaire
  • Questionnaires include
    • Demographics
    • Immigration
    • Race and ethnicity
    • Employment status and occupation
    • Income and education
    • Housing status
    • Cigarette smoking
    • Alcohol use
    • Non-medicinal drug use
    • Risk factors for HIV prior to diagnosis and date of HIV diagnosis
    • Health-related quality of life
    • Mental health
    • Sexual risk behaviour

Research Approval Process

Data flow