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Ion Allyson, PhD Candidate & Research Assistant, School of Social Work

photo of Allyson Ion

Allyson Ion

PhD Candidate & Research Assistant, School of Social Work

Graduate Students, CLA
School of Social Work

Women, ART and the Criminalization of HIV (WATCH HIV)


Supervisor: Dr. Saara Greene

My doctoral research focuses on the healthcare experiences of women living with HIV during pregnancy and early postpartum. I aim to understand how HIV and obstetrical services are accessed, received, coordinated and delivered during the perinatal period and will integrate the perspectives of women and their healthcare providers. I aim to uncover how healthcare disparities emerge for women living with HIV and are connected to broader social relations, practice frameworks and institutional policies.


Allyson Ion has participated in the HIV movement since 2001 when she began volunteering with local HIV education and support organizations as an undergraduate student at McGill University. Allyson’s decision to volunteer came from a desire to link the biomedical aspects of HIV that she was learning as an undergraduate student in Microbiology & Immunology with the social, emotional, and physical realities of people living with HIV. Since that time, as an ally and community-based researcher, Allyson has contributed to a number of educational, research and advocacy initiatives to advance care and support for people living with HIV. Allyson has worked as a research coordinator and community educator in both clinical and community-based settings focusing on issues of importance to women living with HIV across Canada. Allyson holds a MSc in Health Research Methodology from McMaster University and is currently a PhD Candidate in the School of Social Work at McMaster University. Allyson conducts health services and systems research; her work aims to understand the connection (and often disjuncture) between the experiences that women living with HIV have when navigating health services and how the various health services that women living with HIV rely on are coordinated and organized. Allyson is extremely grateful to have received a Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship to support her doctoral studies.