AIDS Vancouver Island serves 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.
Our vision is of a world free of HIV and hepatitis C. Until that time, those most at risk in our community continue to be marginalized - not only by their disease, but also by stigma and discrimination, poverty, and despair. As we fight these diseases, we join with those we serve to provide services based on consideration and respect and to provide visibility and a voice in the community.
AIDS Vancouver Island (AVI) is a community-based AIDS Service Organization (ASO). We have offices in the communities of Greater Victoria, Nanaimo, the Comox Valley, and Campbell River. Our catchment area includes all of the Gulf Islands.
At AIDS Vancouver Island we provide education, advocacy and support clients. AVI provides education and prevention information to schools, the broader community and target populations. Evidence demonstrates that comprehensive prevention programs can help to effectively contain HIV, hepatitis C, and other communicable diseases.
AIDS Vancouver Island provides integrated services to individuals with HIV/AIDS and/or hepatitis C, tuberculosis and other communicable diseases.
AIDS Vancouver Island's effectiveness is derived from our role in the community and our connections with the populations most infected by, and at risk of, contracting HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C, and other communicable diseases. Throughout our large volunteer base and the community partnerships we have forged, we effectively target and educate difficult-to-reach populations. AIDS Vancouver Island is a vital component of the total effort against HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C and other communicable diseases.
AIDS Vancouver Island: A Brief History
On September 17, 1985, five men (Wayne Cook, Don MacIvor, Roy Salonin, John Spencer, and Grant Sullivan) sat around a kitchen table and decided it was time to meet the challenge posed by the AIDS epidemic on Vancouver Island. These five men saw the growing need for accurate and up-to-date information and services relating to HIV/AIDS. That evening saw the birth of AIDS Vancouver Island (AVI), with the founders forming the first Board of Directors.
The society was subsequently incorporated in BC and registered under certificate number S20925 on January 24, 1986 under the legal name of The Vancouver Island Aids Society. Initial funding for the society's expenses came from a benefit and charitable donations. There were no paid staff and a small office space was obtained at no charge. Over the past 22 years, the need for HIV/AIDS related programs and services has continued to grow. AIDS Vancouver Island has continued to receive support from individuals and organizations in the communities we serve including the Vancouver Island Health Authority (formerly Central Vancouver Island and Capital Health Regions).