Category: Opinions

The Canadian Consensus Statement. Sign it. Use it. I have and here’s why.

Glenn BetteridgeBy Glenn Betteridge

Many of you may have noticed the ebb and flow of the community-based HIV movement, influenced by medical and scientific breakthroughs, funder priorities, community activism and larger political, social and economic forces.  Throughout my 20-plus years in HIV community-based work and volunteering, I have tried to ground myself in a few bedrocks as a way of anchoring my work. The essential connection between health and human rights. The need for policies, programs and services grounded in evidence and lived experience. Recognition of the central role played by the social determinants of health. And a commitment to social justice and taking seriously the voices of those most affected.  That’s why I signed on to The Canadian Consensus Statement on the health and prevention benefits of HIV antiretroviral medications and HIV testing. The Consensus Statement uses these same foundations to ground a comprehensive, community-driven, holistic response to the HIV epidemic that combines HIV treatment and prevention, and health and human rights.

Indigenous Youth Leaders are Taking Action on HIV in their Communities!

By Sarah Flicker and the Native Youth Sexual Health Network

Group shot

Taking Action II is a community-based action research project about building and supporting Indigenous youth leadership in the HIV/AIDS movement.  We are a group of Indigenous youth leaders, Indigenous community-based organizations and university-based researchers. We wanted to create awareness around HIV, sexual health, and decolonization in First Nations, Métis, and Inuit communities across Turtle Island (also known as Canada).

In Taking Action I, we worked with over 100 youth in six Indigenous communities across Canada to make art about the links between HIV and colonization. We did this as a way of broadening the conversations about HIV – to move away from the individual shame-and-blame discourse. We wanted to help communities understand and respond back to all the structural factors that have conspired to make them vulnerable to HIV: racism, poverty, land theft, residential schools, loss of language/culture, epidemics of addiction, the Sixties Scoop (the practice of taking Indigenous children and placing them in foster homes beginning in the 1960s) and ongoing child welfare involvement, incarceration, etc. Youth created a lot of amazing art that took up these themes. They loved our workshops and asked for more opportunities to get together with youth from other communities.

Lessons learned from the HCV Symposium Part 2: Equal access, equal representation

By Sarah Cloutier and Yung-Wo Jao

On February 27, 2016 CATIE had the opportunity to host another Learning Institute (LI) at the 5th Canadian Symposium on HCV in Montreal, Quebec.  Learning Institutes are exciting knowledge-exchange and capacity-building opportunities for stakeholders engaged in Hep C prevention, treatment and care across Canada. Our 15 rapporteurs learned about current research and worked together to summarize that information and bring it back to their communities. 

 In part two of this two-part blog series, two rapporteurs reflect on their experiences at the LI.

Lessons learned from the HCV Symposium Part 1: Blinders off, and who cleans up after the fight?

By Leona Quewezance and Stephanie Massey

On February 27, 2016 CATIE had the opportunity to host another Learning Institute (LI) at the 5th Canadian Symposium on HCV in Montreal, Quebec. Learning Institutes are exciting knowledge-exchange and capacity-building opportunities for stakeholders engaged in Hep C prevention, treatment and care across Canada. Our 15 rapporteurs learned about current research and worked together to summarize that information and bring it back to their communities.

In part one of this two-part blog series, two rapporteurs reflect on their experiences at the LI.

HPV Vaccine: Who needs it?

By Dr. Irving Salit

Irv PortraitDid you know that men can get HPV cancers? HPV (the human papillomavirus) causes warts, pre-cancers and cancers. HPV is most famous for causing cervical cancer so it has mainly been linked in people’s minds to cancer in women. Because of that, HPV cancer prevention programs have only focused on women (for example, governments spend many millions on cervical cancer screening and immunizing girls against HPV). However, HPV is readily passed between partners and the other half of the world (men!) get HPV as much as women do. So let us get the facts straight about HPV in men and women and what to do about it.