This has been a year of uncertainty and challenge and loss. Throughout 2020, in the face of multiple epidemics, the Ontario AIDS Network and its members stepped up and worked together to continue operating in an increasingly uncertain world. 

Since the arrival of COVID-19, the OAN and its members have taken quick action to support one another, share resources, and convene sector-wide discussions to guide our shared response. We have gathered together in new ways to exchange information, collaborating to reshape our work and create the resources needed to continue adapting to this new reality. 

Looking back on 2020, the OAN and its members must acknowledge the important work undertaken this year to cultivate a more inclusive, just, and equitable sector; and our key achievements including the establishment of our Advisory Committee of People Living with HIV, planning for the renewal of the Ontario Accord and our collective work to address anti-Indigeneity and anti-Black racism.

It is critical to thank the OAN’s Board of Directors and Advisory Committee of People Living with HIV for their guidance, support and hard work throughout the year. We extend our thanks also to those who helped the OAN deliver our work and programs including, working group members, our HIV Resources Ontario (HRO) partners, and those who participated in our Skills and PLDI programs.   

Throughout this unpredictable year, we hope that the OAN’s growth, stability, and adaptability have provided a foundation of support for middle managers, support workers, and executive directors. In many ways, COVID-19 has served as an important reminder about the things our sector does well and our unique ability to innovate, respond and provide essential care.

As you reflect on 2020, take a moment to remember those who have been lost to HIV and AIDS or related causes, the opioid crisis, or COVID-19, and of those who continue to live with challenges of HIV. And, while there remains much work to be done and much uncertainty ahead, we must pause as an organization and as a sector to honour our good work throughout this year. As the OAN looks to the year ahead, we are eager to continue our work as an organization and as a network.

Finally, as the year draws to a welcome close, we must pause individually for some much-needed, well-earned rest. In this, our last newsletter of 2020, the OAN wishes our members, affiliates, and our network partners a calm holiday season. We look forward to continued work in the New Year. 

Shannon and the OAN Team