Tag: Prevention

Undetectable=Untransmittable – CATIE signs on

By Laurie Edmiston

All of us here at CATIE, and indeed around the world, are celebrating the most significant development in the HIV world since the advent of effective combination therapy 20 years ago – people living with HIV with sustained undetectable viral loads can confidently declare to their sexual partners “I’m not infectious!” The “fabulousness” of this news cannot be understated. With or without a condom, if you’re undetectable you won’t pass along HIV! This is an absolute game-changer and those who live with HIV can proudly share this information. At the same time, service providers working in HIV must get up to speed fast and share this far and wide with their communities. CATIE will be developing more resources to help share this momentous news so stay tuned! In the meantime, look at the prevention resources on catie.ca and add your organization’s name to the Consensus Statement of the Prevention Access Campaign. Let’s get the word out!  Get tested, get on treatment, become undetectable and have lots of great sex!

 

Laurie Edmiston is executive director of CATIE, Canada’s source for HIV and hepatitis C information.

The Face of Our Story

By Signe Dewar and Tom Barnard

signe-photo-cropped tom-photo-croppedThe Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art, in partnership with the Toronto Community Hep C Program (TCHCP), invited people with lived experience of hepatitis C to take part in an art project called The Face of Our Story.  In that project, clay tiles depicting stories of lived experience would be displayed at the museum on World Hepatitis Day, July 28, 2016. This is the story of Signe and Tom who participated in the event.

The day arrived when we met with museum staff, were given a tour, and the project was explained to us. We were nervous.  We were proud to be part of this experience, but at the same time unsure of our surroundings and what was expected of us. None of us had ever put on an art show in a museum. We spoke in hushed tones and experienced a feeling of reverence as we saw the beautiful work of other artists. We exchanged glances and thought, “Uh oh! What are we doing here?”

More obvious and sinister villains are responsible for the number of drug overdose deaths in Vancouver Island

By Shane Calder

shane-speaking-at-rally-croppedBritish Columbia, Vancouver Island in particular, is in the midst of health tragedy that many of us find hard to describe. In one sense, we can trace the beginning of this crisis to Thursday, April 14th, 2016 when the chief medical office, flanked by the B.C. Minister of Health, declared a public health emergency to address what had already been four terrible months of overdose-related deaths. Since then, I have been privy to receiving periodic updates from the B.C. Coroner Service on the ever-climbing death toll—the most recent post released mid-September.

On a personal note, this ever-escalating human tragedy started for me on December 21st, 2015, three weeks after the Royal Jubilee Hospital in Victoria had stolen from their premises what has since been described as the largest theft of fentanyl in the history of the Vancouver Island Health Authority. On that afternoon of December 21st, the body of a much-liked client was discovered in a parkade less than a block from the region’s largest needle exchange. He died of an overdose.

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.