“Chasing the new is dangerous to society.” I read this quote at an activist art exhibition and it got me thinking about Halifax, my city, and of the group that I belong to. What if the old way of healthcare is actually dangerous to society at a whole?
Harm reduction and gay men’s HIV prevention could be considered two historic elements in our HIV response that have long stood separate from one another. Traditionally, HIV prevention with gay men focused on sexual risk, while harm reduction focused on risks associated with injection drug use. Both approaches have evolved over the decades and some might argue that safer sex is a form of harm reduction, but in the context of drug use, there has been little focus given to harm reduction in the context of gay men’s sexual health.
Indétectable = Intransmissible, PrEP, Traitement comme prévention… Si ces approches font aujourd’hui consensus parmi les experts communautaires et scientifiques du VIH, leur appropriation par un plus large public reste encore incertaine. Dans la communauté gaie, ce nouveau contexte de la prévention suscite encore des résistances ou des questionnements : il suffit d’engager la conversation sur le sujet, en ligne ou dans un bar, pour s’en apercevoir!
Ending the HIV epidemic in Canada in five years seems like an ambitious goal, but it is now in fact a target being advocated by a group of public health and HIV advocates in a new document published by the Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research (CANFAR). I am one of the authors of that document, which acknowledges the necessity of addressing racism and structural violence. But, except for support from a couple co-authors, I am dispirited by the co-authors’ failure to be clear about the difference those systemic and structural issues make, to inspire determination in addressing them, and to illustrate what is at stake and what it means to address racism and structural disadvantage.