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National Advocates CBO Consensus Statement

The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, P.C., M.P. Minister of HealthHealth Canada Sent via email: hcminister.ministresc@canada.cajean-yves.duclos@parl.gc.ca Re: National Consensus Statement signed by the National Advocates group and Canada’s Community-based and human rights agencies.  Honourable Minister Duclos: Canada’s goal to end HIV as a public health threat in this country by 2030 can be achieved.  On December 1st, 2021, World AIDS Day, the Government of Canada proudly announced it would host the world at the 24th International AIDS Conference in Montréal, happening July 29 to August 2, 2022.  Prior to this conference, we, the undersigned agencies, strongly urge the Government of Canada to announce an

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Campaign Launch: HIVFunding.ca  

Flatlined federal funding for HIV/AIDS is destabilizing community-based organizations and making it harder for people living with HIV across Canada to get support.   About this Event  Join us on June 23, from 1 to 2 p.m. EDT, to learn more about the status of federal HIV funding in Canada, and to find out what you can do to help. At this event, we’ll be launching a social media campaign (HIVfunding.ca) urging the federal government to make good on its promise to increase federal HIV/AIDS spending to $100 million annually. Register: https://bit.ly/3MSmBd7 During this session, you’ll hear from activists, people living

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Provincial HIV Groups Applaud Ontario Parties Promising
Drug Coverage for HIV Treatment and Prevention
Medications

Led by the HIV/AIDS Medication Access Working Group, comprised of community members and HIV-focused organizations in Ontario, the undersigned community-based organizations supporting people living with or at risk of HIV applaud the commitment of Ontario political parties who, if elected, have committed to ensure no out-of-pocket costs are incurred by people accessing antiretroviral medications to treat or prevent HIV. We ask: Where do the other Parties stand on this issue? Ontario AIDS service organizations are looking to all Parties to support access to HIV medications as good medicine and an effective public health measure for all Ontarians living with or

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HARS is now Trellis HIV & Community Care

Effective April 4, 2022, HARS (HIV/AIDS Regional Services) will be known as Trellis HIV & Community Care.  As the HIV/AIDS pandemic has evolved, so has the work of the organization.  Since 1988, the organization has been addressing the Social Determinants of Health by providing practical supports, drop-in services, facilitating access to testing and primary health care for communities who are often marginalized and stigmatized. These include People Living with HIV, the 2SLGBTQ+ community, people experiencing poverty and homelessness, and people who use substances.  Providing support while confronting stigma is at the core of what the organization strives to do. This new name

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UPDATE: RENEWAL OF THE ONTARIO ACCORD

Over the past few months, the OAN’s Advisory Committee of People Living with HIV/AIDS have led a process that ensured that diverse voices from every corner of the province have been involved in helping us create the next iteration of the Ontario Accord and Living and Serving.

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PLDI Online Governance Training Applications now open!

Applications are now open for the PLDI Online Training on Governance: Find out how your voice can make a difference This governance training mixes instructor-driven sessions through Zoom and self-paced/directed learning sessions offered through the Brightspace learning platform. Note: The training offered through the online governance workshop is the same as training offered via in-person learning (when permitted).   Objectives Establish a common understanding of governance and the difference between governance and operations. Learn about the roles and responsibilities of a board of directors. Explore the complexities of being a person living with HIV on a board of directors. DatesThe upcoming online

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Workshops for Frontline Staff Proactive Responses to Vicarious Trauma

This workshop is created for frontline healthcare, harm reduction, support service providers, and educators working with people living with, at risk for, & affected by HIV and people who use drugs. The primary intention for this program is to strengthen resiliency, self-care & organizational practices to support wellness for staff working in chronically & acutely stressful environments & encourage a commitment to one’s physical, psychological, emotional, and spiritual well-being. Registration is filling up fast. Sign-up today! This workshop is being offered on three separate dates: Managers: Friday, January 28 2022 from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Frontline Workers: Friday, February 11, 2022,

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Storytelling Through Photography – A Newcomer Journey

Are you a Convention refugee, permanent resident, or a new Canadian? If you answered yes, the Storytelling Through Photography project is for you. The Photovoice Project is storytelling through photography. Participants will take and use photo images to capture aspects of their environment and experiences. Details and How to Sign Up A (7) seven-week workshop series. From January 17 to February 28, 2022. Email Kemar, kemarb@moyohcs.ca for times and more information.  Click this link to register to participate in Photovoice https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/XQB88QZ  (Please choose Newcomer Photovoice project from the list). Open to residents of Brampton, Mississauga, and Caledon only. See the Photo-voice Flyer for

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GMSH HIV Plotlines: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Gay Men’s Health Alliance (GMSH) is proud to present: HIV Plotlines – The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. Hosted by queer film and TV writer JP Larocque and drag performer and HIV activist Jade Elektra, this 14-part series examines popular film and TV from the last 40 years where HIV was represented. In this series,  JP Larocque and Jade Elektra dissect popular film and TV series that have HIV in the plot. The first three episodes look at Freddie Mercury biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, the TV show Empire, and the all-time classic The Golden Girls. Where to WatchWatch on our YouTube channel.

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Complete The Ontario Accord Survey – Enter to Win a Prize

Our work to update the Ontario Accord and renew our sector’s commitment to GIPA/MEPA is underway!  Over the past few weeks, the OAN’s Advisory Committee of People Living with HIV has been holding focus groups for our members and Ontario’s community of people living with HIV. But we want to hear from everyone. Have Your Say in the Ontario Accord Survey If participating in a focus group is not right for you, tell us what you think by completing the Ontario Accord Survey. This is your opportunity to share your thoughts, have your say and help create the next Ontario Accord. Complete

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Reflections on 2021

2021 was another uncertain and difficult year for the OAN, our sector, and for many people living with HIV across the province. But our sector continued to adapt and deliver services, carrying out our work throughout an ever-changing COVID pandemic.  This year, the OAN and its members and partners have continued to share resources and create spaces where learning and connection can take place. We also continued to collaborate to ensure leadership and advocacy remain present in our values and in our work.  Alongside this year’s challenges, there were successes. Among the many accomplishments achieved in collaboration with the OAN’s collective members and affiliates,

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OAN 2021 World AIDS Day Podcast

Indigenous AIDS Awareness Week and World AIDS Day are an opportunity to unite in our efforts to end new HIV transmissions and support people living with HIV and AIDS.  The UNAIDS theme of this year’s World AIDS Day is “End inequalities. End AIDS. End pandemics”. Through this theme, the UN underscores the urgent need to end the inequalities that drive HIV and AIDS and other pandemics in Ontario and beyond.  To commemorate Indigenous AIDS Awareness Week and World AIDS Day, the OAN is releasing a podcast episode that looks at the work of the past year, renewing our commitments to an equitable and

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Introducing Positive News

The Ontario HIV Treatment Network (OHTN) is proud to announce the launch of an anti-stigma campaign called The Positive News. (When you go to the website, try reloading the page to see different landing screens with unique animations.) The Positive News is a fresh approach to bringing OHTN’s HIV prevention and treatment message to a general audience. The campaign’s first phase comprises five visually stunning, easy-to-understand videos hosted by Muluba Habanyama covering the following themes: HIV management and serodiscordant couples Undetectable = Untransmittable Getting PrEP in Ontario HIV testing options in Ontario HIV self-testing (including the Get a Kit project) At the heart of The Positive

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Join Us in Celebrating 15 Years of PLDI Success!

On December 8, graduates from across Canada, and in Australia and New Zealand will gather online to celebrate 15 years of the Positive Leadership Development Institute (PLDI). During this milestone celebration event, attendees will come together to honour the PLDI’s past, present and future, and to present PLDI Leadership Awards to program facilitators and graduates from Ontario, Quebec, and British Columbia. This celebration will also give attendees a chance to share their experiences, send a message to a new graduate, and to provide feedback that helps us shape the PLDI of the future.  We look forward to seeing you. The

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Webinar Series on HIV and Aging

Please join Gilead for a series of interactive discussions on HIV and aging. Each week, Canadian expert panelists and community moderators will provide up-to-date scientific information on different aspects of the topic.  SESSION 1: Men, HIV, & AgeingFriday, November 19th, 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM ETModerator: Ron RosenesSpeaker: Dr. Julian Falutz SESSION 2: Ageing Well with HIVFriday, November 26th, 12:00 PM–1:30 PM ETSpeakers: Dr. Kelly O’Brien and Dr. Francisco Ibanez-Carrasco You can register for as many sessions as you would like!  Please note that registration information is strictly confidential and will only be used to send the webinar link prior to

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GIPA/MEPA Focus Group: A Huge Thank You!

In the past couple of weeks, the OAN’s Advisory Committee of People Living with HIV has been working with our members and Ontario’s community of people living with HIV to update the Ontario Accord and renew our sector’s commitment to GIPA/MEPA.  We reached out to people living with HIV, volunteers, OAN member/affiliate staff to participate in focus groups to guide the renewal of the Accord and more than 150 participants registered. A big thank you to all those who registered and/or shared information about our focus groups for the renewal of our commitment to the principles and practice of GIPA/MEPA. We had an overwhelming response and

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Building Resilience: Proactive Responses to Vicarious Trauma, Compassion Fatigue and Burnout

The AIDS Bereavement & Resiliency Program of Ontario, Casey House, & the Ontario AIDS Network present: Building Resilience: Proactive Responses to Vicarious Trauma, Compassion Fatigue and Burnout for Frontline Staff and Educators Thursday November 18 or December 9, 2021 from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. This educational event is created for frontline healthcare, harm reduction, support service providers, and educators working with People living with, at risk for, & affected by HIV and People who use drugs. This highly interactive workshop will introduce practical strategies to enhance personal and organizational resilience. Facilitated by Graham Vardy, Steven Hughes and Steve Hall,

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FINAL REMINDER! PLDI Online Core Training

Registration for the Positive Leadership Development Institute‘s Online Core Training is open until October 25th, 2021. The Online Core Training sessions are Wednesday, November 10, 17, & 24th, 2021 Successful applicants will participate in our November Online Core Training. This training is offered at no cost to participants. NOTE: This training is not open to those who have already taken PLDI Core Training. The Online Core Training is:   A dynamic online adaption of our in-person Core Training for new participants.  A mix of instructor-driven sessions through Zoom and self-paced/directed sessions offered through Brightspace. A mix of three weekly three hours facilitated and

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Canadian Coalition to Reform HIV Criminalization: Consultation Survey

On August 23rd, 2021, the Canadian Coalition to Reform HIV Criminalization (CCRHC) launched a community consultation regarding proposed Criminal Code reforms to limit HIV criminalization. To inform the next phase of our advocacy, the CCRHC has launched a cross-Canada survey about those options with people living with HIV, people working in the HIV response, legal and human rights experts, and activists. Now, the CCRHC wants your input. This survey will be available between August 23 – October 22, 2021.  We encourage you to read this Background Document before completing the survey.  About this work The CCRHC has previously called for changes to the federal Criminal Code that would limit HIV criminalization. This call

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National Women and HIV Workshop Series – CHIWOS

In honour of 10 years of research and advocacy, CHIWOS is hosting the National Women and HIV Virtual Workshop Series to engage and expand the knowledge-sharing network, invite discussion, identify gaps, and develop goal statements and collective actions that will improve the health, healthcare, and well-being of women living with HIV in Canada.  There are four workshops in this series that will take place on Zoom over five weeks in November and December 2021.  This workshop series will highlight the diversity of voices, histories, and leadership of women living with HIV across Canada. The workshop series will be simultaneously available in English and French.  Information

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National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

September 30, 2021, marks the first-ever National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. Today, we honour the Survivors of government and church operated residential institutions (referred to as Indian Residential Schools), their families and communities, and the many children who never returned home. We also acknowledge the harms of colonization experienced by generations of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples across this land.  Today is yet another opportunity to learn and engage in the deep work of decolonization and Reconciliation that lies ahead, and to reflect on the HIV burden carried disproportionately among Indigenous communities. As a sector, our journey along the

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HIV, Hepatitis C and Sexually Transmitted and Blood-Borne Infections in Canada: Top Election Issues

Health and human rights groups identify priorities for federal policymakers as people in Canada head to the polls Tuesday, September 14, 2021 – More than 60,000 people are currently living with HIV in Canada, approximately 13% of whom are unaware of their status. Of the 200,000 people living with chronic hepatitis C (HCV) in Canada, an estimated 44% are unaware of their status. Although progress has been made in HIV and HCV care and treatment, there is still much work to do to achieve more comprehensive, equitable health outcomes. As we approach a federal election on September 20th, 2021, Canadians

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OAN’s 2021 Annual Meeting of Members – September 21st

The Board of Directors and staff would like to remind you that the Annual Meeting of the Members of the Ontario AIDS Network (OAN) will be held on Tuesday, September 21, 2021, between 5:00 and 7:00 pm.  The Annual Meeting follows the OAN’s meeting of delegates living with HIV, which takes place on Monday, September 20, 2021, between 5:00 and 7:00 pm. Due to ongoing travel restrictions, this year’s meetings will be virtual and held online. Here’s what you can expect at this year’s AGM: To receive the financial statements of the Corporation for the year ended March 31, 2021, together with the report of the auditors thereon. To appoint the

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Develop your research and leadership skills!

We are a community-based team of people living with HIV who are working on a project related to GIPA/MEPA – the Greater Involvement and Meaningful Engagement of People living with HIV/AIDS. We are looking for 2-4 young advocates living with HIV, to join our team through a paid mentorship opportunity. We encourage people from Indigenous, Black, and other racialized communities, as well as women, people who self identify as transgender, non-binary, intersex, and/or two-spirit to apply. Training and resource materials will be provided. This opportunity consists of approximately 20 hours of paid work over the Summer and early Fall of

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A 2021 Update from PLDI

After 15 years of successful in-person training, COVID-19 forced the PLDI alliance to get creative. In March 2020, Ontario was in a state of emergency, and everyone was ordered home and there were to be no face-to-face meetings or gatherings of any kind. 2020 quickly became a pivotal year for the PLDI program. Ontario had just recruited and hired five new, HIV-positive facilitators from various parts of the province. We were ending our year, ready to start a new one with many workshops planned, but the future was uncertain. Was PLDI going to make it through COVID-19?Shortly after Ontario’s stay-home order came into

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OAN Skills+ is Back!

Our first OAN Skills+ session of 2021 is almost here! This virtual session is about Latinx communities and HIV, and takes specific focus on the outcomes of the Latin gbtMSM/PHA Community Service Planning Project report. Date: June 30, 2021 Time: 11:00 am – 12:30pm EST For this session, the OAN has partnered with Latinos Positivos Ontario (LPO), Centre for Spanish Speaking Peoples (CSSP), Committee for Accessible AIDS Treatment (CAAT), Prisoners with HIV/AIDS Support Action Network (PASAN), and the Ontario HIV Treatment Network (OHTN). Join on Zoomhttps://us02web.zoom.us/j/89202511825?pwd=ZGpaRmM3OVQrbkNzZ0hDcmFYU2dmQT09 Questions about Skills+Contact Precious Maseko at pmaseko@oan.red Looking AheadSkills+ sessions are now scheduled every three months and

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June is National Indigenous History Month

Each year, throughout June, we observe National Indigenous History Month in recognition of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples across this land. This is a time for everyone to learn more about the unique histories, achievements, and cultures of Indigenous Peoples. It is also a time to share stories, teachings, and traditions, and to take action toward Truth and Reconciliation.  On June 21, 2021, on the summer solstice, we celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Day. Across the land, First Nations will gather and share in ceremonies and traditions to thank Mother Earth and to celebrate the languages, cultures and ceremonies that have persevered despite decades of effort

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Without Truth There Can Be No Reconciliation

Today we acknowledge the grief, pain and trauma of First Nation, Métis, and Inuit people and communities, following release of preliminary grounds-survey findings locating unrecovered remains of children at a former Residential School in Kamloops. We stand in solemn solidarity with First Nation, Métis, and Inuit communities and we mourn the 215 children who died at this site. We must continue to self-educate, reflect, and confront the disgraceful legacy of the Residential School system and the ways in which colonization continues to oppress, harm, and traumatize First Nation, Métis, and Inuit people. As ever, we must all continue to interrogate our often

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Honouring George Floyd and Regis Korchinski-Paquet

As we mark the solemn, one-year anniversary of the murder of George Floyd, we continue to see state sanctioned violence against African, Caribbean, Black Latinx, and Black; Indigenous, immigrant and racialized people across Ontario.  Yesterday, Canadians marched in memory of Regis Korchinski-Paquet. Today, we remember those who have been harmed and killed by state violence. We reflect on the work, advancements and heartaches of this past year and look ahead to the work done at OAN and beyond.  Over the past year, the OAN has held space and engaged our membership and partners in challenging and impactful conversations and action

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PLDI Grad Check-In

Announcing the PLDI Grad-Check-In on May 27, between 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm EST. “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence; it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.”  Audre Lorde Topic: Self-Care as WarfareWhat is the one thing that has been keeping you going during COVID-19? Join the PLDI team and fellow PLDI graduates for some fun (prizes to be won) and a deep discussion on joy, resilience, and self-care. Each graduate who wants to present will have 4 minutes to present. Don’t want to present? No problem, please join us to take in the presentations. Register in advance for

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Celebrating 15 Years of PLDI!

This month the PLDI reached the milestone of 15 years of programming excellence. We are so proud of how PLDI has grown and developed, where we are today, and where we are heading.  We’d like to extend our thanks and appreciation to the more than 1,000 PLDI graduates in Ontario. We believe that the PLDI and your leadership has shaped the Ontario HIV sector into what it now is. We extend our thanks to the people who made PLDI what it is today. We owe deep gratitude to OAN staff past and present including Rick Kennedy and Thomas Egdorf, PLDI

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Now Recruiting! WHIWH: #SafeHandsSafeHearts Study

Women’s Health in Women’s Hands (WHIWH) is excited to announce a research study, #SafeHandsSafeHearts – Peer Counselling for LGBTQ+ Racialized Folks! #SafeHandsSafeHearts is a study taking place in collaboration with WHIWH, and they are now recruiting participants for this study! About the StudyThe project aims to support Black, African, Caribbean, Latin American, and South Asian sexual and gender minority communities amid the COVID-19 pandemic. It involves three online counseling sessions to increase COVID-19 knowledge and protective behaviors and reduce pandemic stress (anxiety, depression, loneliness).  How to ParticipateWHIWH encourages adults over 18 who identify as Black, African, Caribbean, Latin American, South Asian, and LGBTQIA+ to apply.

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HIV, Brain Health, & the Role of Physical Activity – April 29th

Real Talk with Realize Virtual Townhall Series Conversation followed by Yoga  April 29, 2021 from 1:00 – 2:15 PM (Eastern Time) Register Today! * We invite community members, ASOs and HIV organizations and others interested in physical activity to attend this event.  This event will also feature a short, accessible yoga class for attendees to participate in. No experience or equipment will be needed.Please attend in comfortable clothes.  Presented by: Dr. Adria Quigley    * Please identify your accessibility needs upon registration

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HALCO: Spring Workshop Series 2021

HALCO is pleased to announce its free public legal education workshops in April and May 2021. Please go here for information about the series and to register for the workshops that will take place through videoconferencing (via Zoom). The topics are as follows: Income Supports: The Latest on Provincial and Federal Programs (Samuel Mason, HALCO staff  lawyer), April 15, 2021, 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm (Eastern Time) HIV Non-Disclosure and the Law: An Update on Criminal and Public Health Law (Ryan Peck, HALCO executive director), April 22, 2021, 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm (Eastern Time) Human Rights and Privacy Issues for People Living

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CAAT: Racialized PHA 0A45+ Consultation

The Committee for Accessible AIDS Treatment (CAAT) is a coalition of affected individuals and organizations committed to promoting the health and wellbeing of people living with HIV (PHAs) who are facing access barriers related to their precarious status in Canada. The Legacy Project is a PHA mentorship program to improve access to health and social services, address stigma, and increase uptake of behaviors that prevent HIV, especially those from racial minority communities and those who are newcomers to Canada. OA45+ is a program under the Legacy umbrella that consists of three-day in-person training for racialized Persons Living with HIV (PHA)

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ACAS Statement on anti-Asian racism

The past few weeks have provided an opportunity for Ontario’s HIV sector to reflect on the realities of anti-Asian racism. It’s important that we stand in solidarity with Asian communities, speak out against anti-Asian racism, and reflect on long histories of anti-Asian racism in Canada.  The OAN stands in solidarity with Asian Community AIDS Services (ACAS), it partners and Ontario’s Asian communities who have been hurt by the murder of 8 individuals in Atlanta and a significant increase in explicit violence against Asians. The Board of Directors of ACAS has issued a statement on Anti-Asian Racism found here. We urge all OAN

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OAN Newsletter Survey

The Ontario AIDS Network Team wants to hear from all our Newsletter readers.We are conducting a Newsletter Survey and would like to know what you think about the OAN Newsletter. Your feedback will help us to meet your needs and improve our work. This quick survey takes approximately 10 minutes. Thank you for your time.Please go here to begin the survey.This survey closes on Wednesday, March 31st, 2021, at 5:00 pm.

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City Roundtable on “Anti-Asian Racism and Intersectional Violence” | Friday, March 26 @ 12pm

The Women & Gender Studies Institute and the Department of Sociology, University of Toronto, invite you to a city roundtable on “Anti-Asian Racism and Intersectional Violence” We are organizing this event in light of the recent shootings in Atlanta and the rise of anti-Asian racism during COVID. While the presence of anti-Asian sentiments may seem new to some, it is in fact part of a longer history of oppression that Asian communities have experienced and continue to experience. Join us for a conversation on how we might collectively address and challenge anti-Asian racism and intersectional violence, with: Elene Lam, Butterfly:

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Renewal of the Ontario Accord and Living and Serving – RFP

Request for Proposals: Renewal of the Ontario Accord and Living and Serving Issued by: Advisory Committee of People Living with HIV/AIDS, Ontario AIDS Network Project Overview Working closely with the OAN’s Advisory Committee of People Living with HIV and staff, the Consultants will be responsible for renewing the Ontario Accord and the development of an organizational guidance document for Member agencies. Proposal submissions are due on April 9th at 5:00 pm EST. Late submissions will not be accepted. Submit your proposal to the OAN’s Advisory Committee at advisory@oan.red

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Miniseries, It’s a Sin – A Springboard for Conversations about HIV?

The five-part British miniseries It’s a Sin comes to our television screens on February 18, 2021. It tells the story of five young people living and loving in the 1980s, at the dawn of the HIV epidemic. Described as heartbreaking but with humour and humanity at its heart, the miniseries allows us to mourn the loss and celebrate the lives of some of the early heroes in the fight against HIV. Watch It’s a Sin in Canada on Amazon Prime Video (in the U.S., it’s on HBO Max).  How TV can change conversations For those of us working in Ontario’s HIV response, It’s a Sin provides us with

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The OAN is Recruiting Three Board Members

The OAN board is recruiting three new members to stand for election at our June 2021 Annual Meeting. We are seeking committed board members from racialized communities to strategically lead the organization and help the OAN meet our mandate. Serving on the Board is an extraordinary opportunity for someone who is passionate about Ontario’s HIV sector. To uphold the OAN’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, will prioritize applications from racialized candidates. DETAILSOf the three available positions, one must be filled by at least one person from Ontario’s Central region, and, at least one must be filled by a person living with HIV. In accordance with the provisions of our by-laws, a majority

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Breaking The Silence: Black CAP

Join Black CAP Friday evening from 6 – 8pm for their session “Breaking the Silence: Understanding the Physical and Psychological Responses to a Diagnosis”. The intent of this session is geared towards the shared experience and resiliency against realities faced by PLWHA who fall within the visible minority group in particular MSM. Sign up for the Zoom call at: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZ0ldeipqDoiGNRlfp5BgcnlGmq8_A6WUqaa

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Black History Month Events

As we continue our work toward liberation of Black lives and Black people, the Ontario AIDS Network joins our partners in marking Black Futures Month and Black History Month. Throughout this month and over this coming year, we ask our Members, stakeholders and partners to identify their commitments to Black liberation, to self-educate and reflect; and to meaningfully and equitably engage Black communities in their work. We ask our Members to recognize that HIV work is Black liberation work and to Step Forward to challenge anti-Black racism in all aspects of the HIV response.  How to Post Events and Share InformationThe

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Black Futures Month and Black History Month

February is Black Futures Month and Black History Month. Tell us about events in your areaThroughout the month, we will be sharing information about events happening across the province. Send us the details and information about your events and communications happening near your and we will share them in our February 5 newsletter. Email content and questions to Precious Maseko by February 4, end of day.  Sign up to receive episode 4 of Step Forward on February 1, and checkout the OAN’s resources for addressing anti-Black racism in the HIV sector. 

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Elevate NWO Education Series

Elevate NWO has launched a new education series focusing on helping community agencies, businesses, and individuals create welcoming spaces for people living with HIV. Through a combination of social media posts and Facebook Live discussions, the series spends time unpacking HIV stigma, how it impacts people living with HIV, and how to address it within organizational policy, culture, and individual action to create safe and welcoming spaces. Series DetailsThe series runs from January 12-February 11, with educational posts dropped every Tuesday on Facebook and Instagram, and live discussions every Thursday at 2pm. Follow Elevate NWO and this series at https://www.facebook.com/elevatenwo/

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Our Strategic Plan

Greetings OAN members and affiliates,  As the Co-Chairs of the Board of Directors of the Ontario AIDS Network, we wish you all a Happy New Year! We hope that 2021 will be a productive, safe and rewarding year for us all as we continue to work together to support and strengthen our communities. As we venture into 2021, we want to share with you an important update regarding the long-term strategic goals of the OAN. Specifically, that we plan to extend our existing April 2016 to March 2021 Strategic Plan until March 2022. In March of 2020, our board had

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A 2020 Message from the OAN Team

This has been a year of uncertainty and challenge and loss. Throughout 2020, in the face of multiple epidemics, the Ontario AIDS Network and its members stepped up and worked together to continue operating in an increasingly uncertain world.  Since the arrival of COVID-19, the OAN and its members have taken quick action to support one another, share resources, and convene sector-wide discussions to guide our shared response. We have gathered together in new ways to exchange information, collaborating to reshape our work and create the resources needed to continue adapting to this new reality.  Looking back on 2020, the

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RHAC Vigil Featuring Jully Black

Each year on World AIDS Day (WAD), December 1st, the Regional HIV/AIDS Connection (RHAC) acts on the opportunity to raise awareness, show support for people living with HIV, and remember the lives of those lost to AIDS-related illnesses. Join RHAC on December 1st at 7 pm for a World AIDS Day Virtual Vigil featuring co-host and musical guest Jully Black.  Please go here to RSVP and here to learn more about Jully Black.

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AGING and HIV – A Story of Resilience!

Join Pozitive Pathways Community Services in celebrating World AIDS Day 2020 as they come together across communities in solidarity and support of people living with, affected by, or at risk of HIV. Here are some activities to look forward to:  Join Pozitive Pathways for AIDS Awareness Week between November 22nd and December 1st as they share educational resources distributed by CATIE. In celebration of their Global Solidarity and Shared Responsibility, they will be distributing a “Schedule of Events” for World AIDS Day virtual events across Ontario. Please use this resource to join the World AIDS Day events with any of their partners at the Ontario AIDS Network. Pozitive Pathways are also delighted

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Elevate NWO World AIDS Day Virtual Memorial

2020 has been a particularly challenging year for Thunder Bay and Northwestern Ontario as it has for all of Ontario. With strict social-distancing requirements, many of us cannot hold our usual World AIDS Day  events, which is why this year, Elevate NWO and the OAHAS Thunder Bay site have decided to bring their event into a virtual space. The one silver lining of doing it this way is that geography is not a barrier. Many more people can participate online and they extend an invitation to everyone across Ontario to join the virtual memorial event. This event will promote HIV/AIDS awareness and remind

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ACAS SEED 25+!

Asian Community AIDS Services (ACAS) is pleased to invite all its stakeholders to this year’s Virtual World AIDS Day (WAD) event on December 3rd, 2020. The celebration includes a series of podcasts entitled “Love Fierce Positive Asians,” a continuation of the successful first series from WAD 2019. The series will discuss the intersectional experiences of Asian PHAs such as gender identities, navigating life with a caregiver, fatherhood, and being a refugee. ACAS will also be launching their first online community forum ACAS SEED25+,  focusing on HIV+ pioneers and AIDS activists who planted seeds at ACAS and have helped shape their growth for more than 25 years!  ACAS is also planning a

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ACO AIDS Awareness Week

Join the AIDS Committee of Ottawa (ACO) for AIDS Awareness Week between November 24th and December 1st. ACO will be raising awareness about the most relevant topics in the HIV landscape right now, including HIV Self-Testing, Anti-Black Racism, HIV, and COVID-19. ACO will be releasing a look-back slide show of pictures from the last 5 years from City Hall to Parliament Hill and will release a World AIDS Day video! Stay tuned for these exciting events on their social media platforms. To learn more check for updates on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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CATIE Webinar: Ontario Overdose Crisis and the Impact of COVID-19

Join CATIE, the Ontario Harm Reduction Network, and the Ontario Harm Reduction Distribution Program for an upcoming workshop called: Ontario Overdose Crisis and the Impact of COVID-19.  Date: Wednesday December 2, 2020Time: 11:00 amWhat to expect Ontario, like other provinces in Canada, continues to face an escalating overdose crisis compounded by the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), which has increased the risk of fatal overdoses. The pandemic has also influenced the types and the purity of drugs people are consuming, and limited access to support services. This webinar will explore what various data sources in public health, drug surveillance and harm reduction can tell

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Health Canada Approves HIV Self-test Kits

On November 2, 2020, Health Canada granted a medical device license to a one-minute, finger-prick HIV blood test. Known more commonly as the HIV self-test, this device is manufactured by bioLytical Laboratories based in BC.  The approval follows research and development associated with the Solutions Network: REACHing the Undiagnosed Testing for linkages to care for HIV and Hepatitis C project. The study was submitted by principal investigator Sean Rourke to regulators for approval earlier this year. The project is a collaboration of: CATIE CAFAR CAHR CBRC CSIH National Collaborating Centre for Infectious Diseases  REACH 3.0 In our last newsletter, the OAN shared

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Positive Self Management Program

The Gilbert Center is offering a free 6-week online program entitled Positive Self Management Program. This is for service users living with HIV from the Gilbert Centre.Program focus includes: Learning more about living with HIV Support networking Go here to view the Positive Self Management Program poster. To learn more about the program please reach out to Kellie Leeder, Women’s Health Coordinator at kelliel@gilbertcentre.ca or 705-722-6778, ext. 802

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ACO Launches Virtual Buddy Program!

The AIDS Committee of Ottawa (ACO) is pleased to announce the launch of a Virtual Buddy Program in November 2020! The main objective of the Buddy Program is to improve the quality of life of people living with HIV/AIDS by providing emotional support and company. Upon building capacity, the next steps will be focused on incorporating a peer model.   The Buddy Program functions with a bank of dedicated, qualified volunteers who are willing to support members on a flexible schedule by: Ensuring the program operates from a needs-based approach. Matching participants with trained volunteers for one-to-one calling. Who is a Buddy? A trained volunteer

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Launch – The Peel Integrated Drug Strategy!

MOYO Health and Community Services is pleased to launch the Peel Integrated Drug Strategy survey again, the survey is now available online! Hence, The Peel Integrated Drug Strategy is inviting you to participate in a survey to help inform the development of a drug strategy in Peel. This is a community-based project conducted by the Peel Integrated Drug Strategy. Combined survey responses will help build a community profile of substance use in Peel, identify needs, gaps, and inform drug strategy recommendations.  What you need to know to participate: The survey is for people who use drugs and live/work/play in the Region of Peel. The

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Finally! A PrEP Resource for Black Gay Men in Toronto!

Hello Toronto! Welcome to PrEP Squad TO, a new online, social media, and print resource developed by the Black Coalition for AIDS Prevention (Black CAP) with funding support from the Engage Intervention Fund. The resource aims to increase pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) awareness, uptake, and access in Toronto’s Black gay/ bisexual male or transpersons who have sex with men (gbMSM) community. It is an adaptation of the PrEP Squad Washington DC campaign. PrEP Squad TO will provide fun and sexy key messaging about PrEP, mobilize access through community partnerships with local ASOs, healthcare providers, among others. The resource features PrEP users, popular opinion leaders, and social

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PHAC Call

This fall, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) will launch concurrent open and competitive solicitations for time-limited project funding under the HIV and Hepatitis C Community Action Fund (CAF) and the Harm Reduction Fund (HRF). To support the review of the funding applications, PHAC is looking for people living with HIV, people with lived or living experience of hepatitis C, individuals from key populations, individuals who work in community-based organizations, and researchers with a range of expertise in STBBI and harm reduction to ensure the committees are diverse, inclusive and can help assess the extent to which funding applications support

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Thank You!

The OAN Board and staff would like to thank those who attended our 2019/20 Annual Meeting and meeting of delegates living with HIV. Both were a tremendous success with approximately 83 attendees!  Membership collective efforts yielded this great outcome. This was only possible through member commitment of time and effort which is especially noticeable and appreciated during this current COVID-19 environment. Included in the Annual Report is a message from the Co-Chairs and Executive Director plus program highlights. Go here to download the full Annual Report. We’re so excited to welcome our new Board members Viviana Santibanez (Central), Eugen Nam (Central), Charles Parchem (West) and Lila Desjardine

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HIV Conference for Youth: NoTimeToWait 2020

Are you a young person living with, at risk of, or affected by HIV/AIDS?  LetsStopAIDS’ is hosting a conference for you!  The Youth-HIV Virtual Leadership Conference is designed to educate young people about the intersecting nature of HIV, social justice, and the impacts of youth leadership. This conference is scheduled to take place on November 21-22, 2020. In preparation for the conference LetsStopAIDS’ is looking for keynote speakers with a focus on Prevention, Your HIV Status,  Treatment & Access, and/or Staying Healthy. In addition, if you are interested in facilitating breakout sessions or facilitating a Skills-based workshop for the conference reach out to Laura Foran at LForan@letsstopaids.org. For

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Sex Worker Rights! Realities of Anti-Human Trafficking

We’re happy to be sharing a great resource: “A Reflection of Sex Work and Harm Reduction Discourse” developed by Stella in Montreal, Butterfly Asian, and the Migrant Sex Worker Support Network.  This very helpful resource includes tools useful in workshop facilitation and program framing. During this time of heavy virtual interaction, these tools are also applicable to online facilitation.

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Keep Your Bubble Tight! New GMSH COVID-19 Resources

As COVID-19 continued to impact our everyday lives, this summer wasn’t quite what anyone expected. To help continue managing life during this pandemic, the GMSH teamed – up with the folks at BoylesqueTO to ask how they were exploring intimacy and self-love.  Public Health officials continue to call for us each to establish ‘social bubbles’. This also means limiting our sexual and social interactions to a smaller group to reduce potential COVID-19 exposures. It’s important to recognize that the bubble we think we’re in is not always the reality, especially with increased interactions between members of multiple social/sexual networks. It can help to think of these

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Sexual Health Infoline Ontario & eChat

Since the start of the COVID pandemic we’ve seen reduced access to sexual health services, HIV and STI testing and prevention resources. The City of Toronto continues to offer the sexual health info line and e-chat and provides free and anonymous sexual health counselling services.  Call to speak to a live counselor from anywhere in Ontario. Services are also offered in various languages including French. For more information please go to toronto.ca/health/shilo

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2020 Virtual Annual Meeting of Members

The OAN Board of Directors and staff would like to remind you that the Annual Meeting (AM) of the Members of the Ontario AIDS Network (OAN) will be held on Tuesday, October 6, 2020, between 5:00 and 7:00 p.m. The Annual Meeting follows the OAN’s meeting of delegates living with HIV, which takes place on Monday, October 5, 2020, between 5:00 and 7:00 p.m. Here are some things you can expect at this year’s AGM:  Meet the OAN Board of Directors and staff Get an update on the OAN’s work in 2019/20 Help guide our work over the coming year

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New HIV Testing Resources

The Ontario AIDS and Hepatitis C Programs and the Ontario HIV Treatment Network are pleased to announce the creation of a web portal (www.hivtestingontario.ca) containing information on HIV testing in Ontario. The site provides information and training materials for the Ontario Ministry of Health’s HIV rapid/point-of-care and anonymous testing programs.   The portal also contains updates to, and information about, the HIV testing window period, testing recommendations for Ontario’s priority populations, pre-natal HIV testing, Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). The portal also includes important updates on self/home HIV testing in anticipation of Health Canada’s decision to approve the sale of these tests in Canada.   If you would like to learn

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Sex Now Survey!

While COVID-19 continues to impact the lives of everyone in Canada and around the world, we know that the pandemic has created unique pressures on the health and well-being of gay, bi, queer and trans men, and Two-Spirit and non-binary people (GBT2Q). Even before COVID-19, our communities have faced significant mental, social, and sexual health challenges, which have been negatively impacted by physical distancing and the pandemic’s disruption to the health services we rely on such as, testing for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.  In order to better understand how the pandemic has affected GBT2Q people across Canada, the Community-Based

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HIV Self-Testing

Health Canada is currently reviewing a licensing application for an HIV self-testing kit. If approved, HIV self-testing will likely be available in the coming months. This test will be the first, and only, licensed HIV self-test available in Canada. While the exact timing of Health Canada’s decision is not known, it is anticipated a decision will be made in the coming weeks. HIV self-tests are currently used in several countries. Research shows that some people prefer self-testing because it is convenient and confidential. The enhanced privacy of self-testing makes it an effective way to reach first-time testers and those who

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The Queer Bunch

The AIDS committee of Durham Region (ACDR) and its partners invite you to Ontario’s newest and most exciting show about, for, and by the LGBTQ2+ community. Join co-hosts Kerolos Saleib (MSM Outreach Coordinator at ACDR and founder of Middle Eastern Nights), Vivianna Santibanez, Antoine Elhashem, Ticha Albina, and Alphonso King Jr. for their new monthly show, The Queer Bunch. Check out the premiere episode of The Queer Bunch as they explore the question: ‘What’s up with racism and the police?’ with special guests Ruth Cameron (Executive Director of The AIDS Committee of Cambridge, Kitchener, Waterloo & Area) and Toronto City Councillor Kristyn

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Join Our Board of Directors

The OAN is recruiting new Board Members and we’re accepting applications for three Director positions. We are seeking committed Board members to strategically lead the organization and help us meet our mandate. Serving on the Board is an extraordinary opportunity for someone who is passionate about Ontario’s HIV sector. In accordance with the provisions of our by-laws, a majority of the Board must be people who are living with HIV (PLWHIV) who are willing to self-identify as living with HIV and to disclose their status in this application.  Of the three new Directors, one must be from the Western region and be

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Meet Our New Advisory Committee

We are incredibly excited to announce the new members (above) of our Advisory Committee of People Living with HIV/AIDS. The Advisory Committee will play an essential role in supporting the work of the OAN. Over the coming year, we will seek their guidance on the implementation of the OAN’s MEPA (meaningful engagement of people living with HIV/AIDS) frameworks, the renewal of the Ontario Accord, and the expansion of the Positive Leadership Development Institute Ontario program. This Committee also serves an important function in helping the OAN to identify pressing issues affecting Ontarians living with HIV or AIDS and informing our

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Ending the HIV Epidemic and Social Justice: COVID-19, HIV, and the Black Community

Join this 90-minute SYNChronicity 2020 virtual session, “SYNCing the ‘End the HIV Epidemic’ and Social Justice: COVID-19, HIV, and the Black Community”, on July 29, 2020, from 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM. The session will feature presentations and a dynamic panel discussion that highlights the inequitable distribution of health risk and disease among Black communities in the United States. In addition to accounting for 42% of all new HIV cases in the U.S. annually, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that Black people are 5.0 times more likely than white people to have COVID-19, and are 3.8 times

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How To Harm Reduction

Join CATIE for their next webinar, “Community-driven harm reduction programs in Canada”, on July 28 at 12:30 PM. The dual public health emergencies of the overdose crisis and the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic have greatly affected the most marginalized in our communities. There is a heightened need for community-driven, low-barrier harm reduction programs embedded in communities to reach these individuals.  This webinar highlights novel, low-barrier approaches to harm reduction programs, how these programs are being delivered, and the lessons that have been learned. CATIE will discuss opportunities and challenges for harm reduction practice, including during the pandemic and into the future.

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2018 HIV Surveillance Highlights

The Public Health Agency of Canada recently released the 2018 HIV surveillance report, which includes some troubling news about the extent of the epidemic in Canada.  Their report indicates that in 2018, a total of 2,561 HIV diagnoses were reported in Canada, an increase of 8.2% compared with 2017. The national diagnosis rate increased to 6.9 per 100,000 people in 2018, from 6.5 per 100,000 people in 2017. Overall, the diagnosis rate for males continued to be higher than that of females (9.8 versus 4.0 per 100,000 population, respectively); however, females experienced a larger increase in reported cases and diagnosis rate.

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All Blood Is Equal

Every year, thousands of willing blood donors are turned away simply because of their identity. In Canada, men who have sex with men and trans women cannot donate blood unless they have been abstinent for three months. It’s a damaging policy, especially now. For years now, Canada has faced a critical shortage of donated blood, with our national blood inventory far below optimal levels. But rather than screening potential donors through a scientific lens and on a case-by-case basis, Canadian Blood Services and Héma-Quebec continue to use outdated, prejudiced policies which target two-spirit, gay, bisexual and queer men, trans women, and

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Casey House Day Program

Casey House’s inpatient unit is open and accepting referrals here and their day health program is open for one-on-one appointments and has some groups functioning online. Clients must undergo COVID-19 screening prior to entering the building and will be required to wear a mask inside. Clients continue to be supported in the community with food deliveries and phone calls. Read more here. Casey House launched a groundbreaking day health program in 2017, addressing gaps in care of HIV/AIDS clients. The day health program expands our continuum of health services and provides one-stop care and treatment for individuals affected by HIV/AIDS by

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Women-Centred HIV Care Toolkits

A team of HIV clinicians, researchers, advocates and women living with HIV,  have worked with the Centre for Effective Practice (CEP) to develop two new clinical toolkits on Women-Centred HIV Care using an integrated knowledge translation approach. Team members include OAN members Women’s Health in Women’s Hands, the Alliance for South Asian AIDS Prevention and the Ontario Aboriginal HIV/AIDS Strategy. One toolkit has been developed for women living with HIV, themselves, as a self-management and health self-advocacy tool. The second toolkit is to support HIV clinicians and other service providers to deliver Women-Centred HIV Care. Both are now available online. Around 14,500 women live with HIV in

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Resilience and Resistance: Navigating Mental Health Wellness During COVID 19

Join the Committee for Accessible AIDS Treatment (CAAT) and its partners for Resilience and Resistance: Navigating Mental Health Wellness During COVID 19 with presenter Roberta K. Timothy, Ph.D. from the Dalla Lana School of Public Health. This virtual session will cover: Understanding mental health and wellness Understanding the impact of mental health on people living with HIV who are immigrants, refugees and without status (IRN-PHAs) Intersections of mental health, HIV, COVID-19, and racism Interventions and resiliencies in addressing mental health and wellness for IRN-PHAs CAAT and its partners hope you can attend on July 16, 2020, between 11 AM and 1 PM. You can

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Peel Queer Women’s Needs Assessment

MOYO is conducting the Queer Women’s Needs Assessment to address the divide between service providers, queer women, and the Peel Region. This community needs assessment is for individuals who self-identify being queer and a woman. MOYO is reaching out to queer women who live in Peel Region, used to live in Peel Region (5 years max.), or have an attachment to Peel Region (ex., you spend the majority of your time in Peel (working, shopping, etc.) but live outside Peel). MOYO will use the results to create more programs, workshops, and apply for funding to deliver more services directed towards Queer Women

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Trans Pulse Report

Trans PULSE Canada is a community-based survey of the health and well-being of trans and non-binary people in Canada. The first Trans PULSE Canada National Report was released a few months ago and highlights health and access to health care among trans and non-binary people nationally and across provinces/territories. The report can be downloaded from their website in French or English. Go here to read it.  The Trans PULSE Canada & Trans Youth CAN! Project is also accepting applications for a postdoc in trans health research. The postdoc is between one and three years with a flexible start date. More info here. Also,

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Ebony Pride

Join MOYO Health and Community Services and Black CAP for EBONY PRIDE 2020. EBONY PRIDE is an African, Caribbean, and Black LGBTQ+ Chosen Family Celebration, and their theme for this event is Uniting Community. The event will celebrate and foster a spirit of inclusion and love by uniting the community and its allies and features DJ Chanl Marshl (@chanlmarshl). They will have Drag King and Queen performers, community speakers, lots of prizes and giveaways!! Tune into the Zoom & Facebook livestream of the event on July 4th at 1:00 PM. To find out more, follow MOYO and Black CAP on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

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Anti-Black Racism is a Public Health Crisis

The Alliance for Healthier Communities has called on their allies to make commitments to addressing the many iterations of white supremacy and anti-Black racism by standing in solidarity with Black people, committing to interrupting cycles of violence and refusing to make this an issue only Black people care about. This is everyone’s business. The Alliance stands with Black people everywhere in calling for faster action to meaningfully confront white supremacy and address anti-Black racism through the declaration of anti-Black racism as a public health crisis and an enhanced accountability infrastructure to address police brutality, police violence and harms to Black

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Pandemic Pay Eligibility Letter to the Ministry of Health

This week the OAN and its Members called on the Province of Ontario to extend the pandemic pay program to cover staff in AIDS service organizations (ASO) who deliver essential front-line harm reduction services. All through this pandemic ASO staff have worked on the frontlines to prevent overdoses, help people reduce the harms associated with substance use and connect those at risk to COVID-19 related supports. We believe that harm reduction workers’ exclusion and ineligibility is arbitrary and deeply inequitable. We thank these workers for their contributions and commitment to the health of some of the most vulnerable people in

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Rest in Power Larry Kramer

Larry Kramer, the man who is inarguably one of the founders of the North American HIV movement, died on Wednesday, May 5th. While many were challenged by his approach and his never surrender attitude, he leaves an indelible mark on our movement. He undoubtedly had a big mouth and a loud voice, a voice that he used to fight the deafening silence of government, pharma and policy makers at the height of the AIDS epidemic. His loud voice spoke for others who were silenced and he told the truth on our behalf. Larry was also one of the founders of

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Gilbert Centre Face Mask Fundraiser

The Gilbert Centre is working on an initiative to not only provide stylish face masks to folx but to also show PRIDE in, and raise awareness of, the U=U message and movement. Mask are available in every colour of the spectrum and can be customized to include your agency’s logo. Masks are available in small, medium, large and x-large. For more information and/or to place an order, please contact Randy Davis at randyd@gilbertcentre.ca

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Mental Health and Queer Men

The disruption to essential health and support services, coupled with new mental health and financial pressures, places more burden on our already marginalized LGBTQ2+ communities. The uncertainties of how this pandemic will unfold require action now to help queer and trans communities stay resilient. Since the onset of COVID-19, community organizations have been working hard to shift services and supports online. But government leadership is needed to mobilize new tools for adapting to the pandemic. Now is the time for governments at all levels to strengthen the COVID-19 response among LGBTQ2+ Canadians. In response to this, the CBRC has launched

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PLDI Grads Stay Connected

Have you changed your email address? Do you feel like you’ve not heard from the PLDI in a while? We’re working to update our PLDI database to ensure that our mailing list is accurate. If you didn’t receive an email about the last PLDI check-in session or haven’t received other updates about PLDI, please contact Tara at Tjewal@oan.red.

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Save the Date for PLDI Grads

Thanks to all of the PLDI grads who attended our check-in call a few weeks ago. We look forward to our next session on June 10. The PLDI facilitators met and received your feedback and suggestions and we would like to reconnect with you and create an opportunity for you to connect with others.  And if you missed the last check-in, we hope to see your smiling face on this upcoming one. This next check-in will be longer and a bit more interactive with an activity and we hope as many of you fab PLDI Leaders can make it as

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Welcome to our New PLDI Facilitators!

We are very pleased to announce that the Ontario PLDI team is growing! Please join Tara, Joseph and Martin in welcoming our new team members – Benjamin from Central Region, Brittany from Eastern Region, Eno from Western Region, Kendall from Central Region, and Kurt from the Northern Region. Congratulations to you all for being part of our growing and dynamic PLDI team! We’re honoured to have you with us! We know you’re going to be a valuable asset to PLDI and we can’t wait to see all that we will accomplish together. It’s amazing to have such young, fresh and

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New COVID-19 Resources for 2GBTQ+ Men from the GMSH

The GMSH plays a critical role in bridging the gap between health authorities and 2GBTQ+ guys—making sure that information is culturally relevant and effective in the community. Earlier this week, the GMSH collaborated with RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 11 runner up and Canada’s Queen of the North, the gorgeous Brooke Lynn Hytes to bring a message of love and comfort to our community during this difficult time. Watch and share today on Facebook & Instagram.

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Good News! – May 2020

Are you in need of some good news? There’s great work happening in ASOs across the province and they are stepping up to contribute to the well-being of our communities. The AIDS Committee of Ottawa (ACO) delivers Food Bank Fridays where they feed up to 70 folks who pick up much needed food supplies. The ACO team has done an amazing job of setting up a food bank pick-up system that gives access to this basic necessity to their community members. ACO also delivers food to those who are unable to come to their office. Asian Community AIDS Services (ACAS) is

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Check out the new WHAI Website

The Women & HIV/AIDS Initiative (WHAI) recently launched their new website! Utilizing an online space for sharing information and centring the voices of women, WHAI’s website includes updated features such as an in-depth overview of WHAI work and areas of focus, relevant resources, community events calendar, and community news. WHAI invites you to explore their website and connect! Go here to check it out!

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Are you Covering the Essentials?

If you’re new to the sector or want to brush up on some essential skills, then you might want to check out the HIV Resources Ontario Essentials Guide. Found here, the Guide is meant to build capacity in Ontario’s HIV sector by establishing a common core curriculum. This work may be one of your most rewarding, challenging and meaningful work experiences; we certainly hope it will be. But there’s a lot to learn and thankfully there are many resources available and some great ones have been assembled in the Essentials Guide.

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COVID-19 and Mental Health – ABRPO

These are uncertain times where we’re increasingly isolated and disconnected and this has an impact on our mental health. The ABRPO has collected a number of mental health resources meant to help folks cope during these challenging and high anxiety times. Go here for new and emerging resources.

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PLDI Updates – April 2020

Dear PLDI Leadership Grads, We sincerely hope that you are doing well and finding some moments of peace and comfort in light of all that we are having to do as communities to keep ourselves and others safe at this time. The PLDI team is thinking of you and hopes that you are taking care of, and being gentle with, yourselves when you need to be. The  PLDI Team has been quite busy this year and the program is moving from strength to strength.  Our most recent training was a pilot Facilitator’s Training held in February, with twenty-six participants representing

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Happy News Highlights – Feeding the Community

Are you in need of some good news? There’s great work happening in ASOs across the province and they are stepping up to contribute to the food security of people living with HIV. Super agencies like Black CAP, Casey House, the Toronto People with AIDS Foundation, the AIDS Committee of Durham Region and others across the province are working to ensure that the bellies of our community are full. Thanks all for your amazing work.

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Indigenous Peoples and COVID-19: Testing and Isolation

The Indigenous COVID Pathways Phoneline can be reached at: 437-703-8703 4pm – 9pm, 7 days a week – hours to increase in the coming weeks There are special considerations for Indigenous populations with respect to COVID-19 testing and isolation including historical and ongoing breaches of trust, attitudinal and systemic racism by healthcare providers and high rates of inadequate/unsafe housing, displacement and social disconnection. As a result of longstanding discrimination and social exclusion, Indigenous people may be more likely to avoid seeking testing or care for COVID until symptoms are advanced. The Indigenous COVID Pathways Phoneline has been established to advance

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