Welcome to our new
Executive Director,
Shannon Ryan!

“It’s clear that the OAN has many challenges to face over the coming months and years given the funding and political environment. I look forward to working with you all to face them and to build on a strong OAN legacy.”

Are We Status Neutral?

Is it time for a paradigm shift in HIV prevention and support? CATIE has just produced a great article on status-neutral approaches to HIV related care. A status-neutral approach to HIV care means that all people, regardless of their HIV status, are connected to appropriate and meaningful supports that could include access to HIV treatment, PrEP, social supports and others.

It all starts with an HIV test. Any result, positive or negative, kicks off multi-directional engagement with the healthcare system, leading to a common final goal, where HIV is neither acquired nor passed. This model, pioneered in New York City, offers an interesting new framework for us to consider as we work to address Ontario’s complex HIV epidemic.

To learn more check out the CATIE blog here.

Trauma-Informed Care – Casey House

Casey House is in the process of developing a trauma-informed care workshop to better serve people living with HIV. Trauma-informed care is a way of interacting with clients that acknowledges the relationship between individuals’ experience of trauma, the potential impact of trauma on relationships (in particular relationships with healthcare and service providers) and the negative health outcomes that can result.

Trauma-informed care is recognized as a way of providing safe and sensitive care to marginalized populations by working to create environments of inclusion, assisting healthcare providers to engage with clients in informed ways and ultimately to impact health and support systems.

Here is a pre-workshop questionnaire that will help tailor the workshop curriculum to meet specific learning needs of those who work in our sector. Results will be used to develop a training for the  frontline workers who will attend the OAN’s Support Workers Training in January 2020. This survey will take about 5 minutes of your time so please complete it before the deadline of November 30, 2019.

Cycling Against Stigma

The Toronto People With AIDS Foundation (PWA) is gearing up for another life-changing bike ride event. The Friends for Life Bike Rally originated in 1999 as a 6-day, 660 km bike ride from Toronto to Montréal. Later,  the Rally introduced a 1-day, 110 km bike ride from Toronto to Port Hope, and 3-Day ride from Kingston to Montréal.

Now in its 22nd year, the Rally has engaged over 5,000 participants as cyclists and crew and has raised over $18 million dollars for PWA and its clients. The Rally is the sustaining fundraiser for PWA, supporting its ability to provide critical services and supports to individuals living with HIV/AIDS in Toronto.

Please go here to learn more and sign up for this life changing event.

Getting-to-Zero Grants

Gilead is now accepting applications for the Getting to Zero HIV Prevention Grants Program. Gilead intends to support the efforts of community‐based organizations, public health or social care institutions or similar umbrella organizations that demonstrate the ability to deliver projects aimed at getting to zero new infections through prevention activities.

Gilead will consider applications that reach diverse geographic locations within Canada, Australia and Europe. They welcome proposals which target specific prevention activities aimed at the following hard to reach populations including:

▪ Transgender people
▪ Sex workers
▪ Immigrant and refugee communities
▪ Women
▪ Indigenous Persons
▪ People of colour

Prevention activities may include testing and/or awareness raising initiatives, educational programs, safer sex practices, and HIV pre‐exposure prophylaxis as part of a comprehensive prevention strategy. Go here to learn more.

Help Inform ASAAP’s Future

The Alliance for South Asian AIDS Prevention (ASAAP) celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2019. As they turn toward the next 30 years, they have launched the process for the development of a new strategic plan that will serve as a critical launching point for the next 30 years and beyond. One of their commitments is an emphasis on relationships and at the core of this value is you.

ASAAP is seeking key stakeholders to complete a survey that will inform their community work and they would love to engage your voice in this effort. The survey will take approximately 5-7 minutes to complete. If you wish to be contacted regarding the plan development process or are interested in participating in either an individual interview or focus group, please indicate that through the survey itself.

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The OAN Outpost

The OAN Outpost is distributed to our email list of OAN Member and Affiliate agencies, Board members and friends of the OAN.

The Newsletter contains actionable items and events that offer an opportunity for our readers to engage with other organizations and initiatives.

To be included in the OAN Newsletter, items must be:

  • Relevant to the friends/Members of the Ontario AIDS Network
  • Timely: within the last 2 weeks or part of a new story within the last 2 weeks
  • Informative – this usually means it links elsewhere to an existing or shared resource – especially if it re-directs to information on our website
  • Promotion of a special event

Ultimately, the curation of items for distribution falls to the Manager of Communications. To submit an item for inclusion in the next OAN Newsletter, email hramsay@oan.red