Congratulations to our own Harm Reduction Services in Victoria for an incredible year of new and expanded services, including our Harm Reduction Drop-In, Mobile Service, and the 713 Outreach Team partnership with Island Health.
We've been busy!
AVI's HCV Leadership Class worked together over several weeks exploring the impact of hepatitis C in their lives. Here is a short video put together by our volunteer film maker, Brian LePas that features poetry and interviews with group members.
"We were sad to hear of the passing of Ed Steele who had a long history of involvement with AVI. We will miss his warmth and passion for our work. Please see his obituary for more information about Ed."
AIDS Vancouver Island is hosting an 8 week queer youth training program at the University of Victoria for LGBT2SQ youth aged 13-18 in the south island region.
“Do you want to connect with other queer youth? To make some friends with other youth that share your experiences? To learn about gender, sexuality, and how to be a rad supporter of other queer youth? Eager to volunteer? Are you between the ages of 13-18? Then join us!” January 8th- February 26th!
CALL FOR ABSTRACTS: AIDS Vancouver Island’s Men’s Health & Wellness Program’s 2nd annual
Men’scapes: Reshaping the Terrain of Men’s Lives on Vancouver Island
This Year’s Men’scapes Conference theme is: The Mind & Body: How to connect what is going on in your head with what is going on in your pants.
How do we link the thoughts and desires that happen inside us to decision making practices we fall back on, the actions that we take, and the broader impacts of those decisions on our health and wellness? What impacts our choices to engage in the broad sexual plethora available to Gay/MSM/Bi/Queer men, and how do we navigate our lusts in parallel to out health and wellbeing? How do Gay/MSM/Bi/Queer men navigate their lives through the connections between their mind and their body?
Dear Premier Clark:
We are deeply concerned with the new criminal provisions introduced by the so-called Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act, which will undoubtedly result in serious harms against sex workers in this province and across Canada. As HIV/AIDS and human rights organizations based in British Columbia or with a Canada-wide mandate, we ask that you refer the Act to British Columbia’s Court of Appeal for it to determine the constitutionality of these provisions.
The Act, which received Royal Assent on November 6th, is the Government of Canada’s response to the 2013 ruling of the Supreme Court of Canada in R. v. Bedford. Sadly, it runs counter to the spirit and letter of the Supreme Court’s decision and will replicate the harms of the previous laws, which were found to be unconstitutional.
POSITION TITLE: Harm Reduction Support Worker
DEPARTMENT: Harm Reduction Services
SUPERVISOR: Coordinator- Harm Reduction Services
WAGE RATE: $20.72/hr
HOURS: 32-35 hrs/week, schedule to be determined, weekend work required
Under the direct supervision of the Coordinator- Harm Reduction Services, the Harm Reduction Support Workers will provide a broad range of low barrier, psycho-social supports to individuals accessing harm reduction programming and services at the Access Health Centre.
DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITES
1. Harm reduction supply distribution and recovery.
2. Provides education and support to clients on safer drug use and safer sex, HIV, hepatitis C, and STIs.
November 24th to December 1st is Canadian AIDS Awareness week. December 1st marks World AIDS Day and the start of Aboriginal AIDS Awareness Week. This is a time to commemorate those who have been lost due to the AIDS pandemic and an occasion to increase awareness of HIV/AIDS and the stigma that people living with this disease experience in their lives.
Between 2011-2015, the UNAIDS strategy and theme has been set as: "Getting to Zero. Zero new Infections. Zero discrimination. Zero AID related deaths". This theme calls to all of us to have in active part in reducing stigma and increasing our level of testing and education in relation to HIV/AIDS. If you would like to be involved we have many activities happening around Vancouver Island over the next few weeks. Come show your support and solidarity by attending any of the events listed below.
AVI South Island Events
Tomorrow (Nov 20th) is a day of remembrance for those who have been killed as a result of anti-transgender hatred or prejudice. The event was originally started by Gwendolyn Anne Smith, a transgender woman, to honour Rita Hester, a transgender African American woman who was murdered on November 28th, 1998. The day is opportunity to come together both in remembrance and celebration of transgender lives and their stories.
Below are the guiding principles developed by the organizers of the Day of Remembrance.
Now in its third year, the “We Are Here” anti-HIV stigma project involves local people living with HIV sharing their personal stories with their fellow Victorians, reminding us all that HIV doesn’t just happen elsewhere – it happens right here, too. Craig Dales, Executive Director of VPWAS says “This is an important way to decrease the stigma of living with HIV and educate the community about the realities of living with HIV. Everyone’s story is important.”