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.”

Happy Pride from the OAN!

PRIDE is getting a lot of extra attention this year, as the we commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the iconic New York City Stonewall Riots of June 28, 1969, an uprising against police brutality and enforcement of racist, homophobic and transphobic discrimination.

Many credit this riot and the ensuing rebellion as a turning point for the international movement for 2SLGBTQ+ rights and visibility we now experience as PRIDE.

Toronto PRIDE Week also began with a riot. After years of small, community-organized picnics on Toronto Island and demonstrations in front of the legislature, it wasn’t until the day after Toronto police raided four bathhouses on February 5th, 1981 that the community said “enough is enough” to homophobic police violence and demanded city policy makers protect the human rights of their citizens.

“Operation Soap” forced hundreds of men outside (most wearing only towels in the frigid cold) and resulted in the largest mass arrest in Canadian history, along with seizure of personal property and a large amount of personal information by police. The following day, a large protest shut down the intersection of Yonge and Wellesley, as thousands flooded the streets demanding the attention of city council and cementing the beginning of summer as Toronto’s official PRIDE celebrations.

Homophobic and transphobic violence continues across our country to this day, and as recently as last weekend in Hamilton, homophobic protestors and a tenuous relationship with law enforcement,  led to violence and injuries of queer celebrants. The symbolic protest and visibility of PRIDE – across our province – is as relevant now as ever before.

We at the Ontario AIDS Network are proud of the work of our entire Network as it stays pushes beyond stigma and shame to compassion and caring service.Increasingly, your work forces you to stand up to a growing tide of political conservatism, just to do your work: improving the lives of those living with, and affected by, HIV.

We see you and we thank you. Not just this week, but throughout the year.

Happy PRIDE!

 

Indigenous Peoples Day

Many thanks are owed to the leadership and organization of the HIV & AIDS Legal Clinic Ontario (HALCO) for preparing the following statement to share with our Membership. We thought it deserved a wider readership, as the message is so important and so well articulated.

This day, and this type of organizational commitment is relevant both in the work that we do and in our role as inclusive and aware Canadians at large.

The message, sent by Executive Director, Ryan Peck, reads:

“In solidarity with Indigenous Peoples and in support of Reconciliation, the HIV & AIDS Legal Clinic Ontario (HALCO) joins in the June celebration of Indigenous History Month and Indigenous Peoples Day. Our office is closed on June 21 each year to mark this day.

“We acknowledge that since time immemorial the land on which we work has been home to Indigenous Peoples, including the Mississaugas of the Credit, Haudenosaunee, Huron-Wendat, Inuit, and Métis relatives. We are grateful to have the opportunity to work in the community, on this territory.

“Our recognition of Indigenous Peoples must also be connected to efforts to realize the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.

“Indigenous people in Ontario are 1.7 times more likely to be living with HIV than non-Indigenous people. While there are a number of factors that contribute to incidence of HIV, the key determinant remains colonization and its continuing social and health impacts. Moving towards Reconciliation is an opportunity to work with Indigenous communities to, among other things, ensure that Indigenous people with HIV in Ontario have access to the best available legal services, care, treatment and support.

“HALCO works for health and justice. We must therefore do our part to address the ongoing injustices and resulting health inequities that face Indigenous Peoples and that contribute to the impact of the HIV epidemic on Indigenous communities. We are committed to this effort, working in collaboration with Indigenous colleagues and organizations.”

Here we go: HRO 2.0

The OAN is very excited to announce that following a fulsome partnership with the OHTNTHNOHRNCATIE, the GMSHWHAI, the OODPABRPOACCHOPHAC, and CAAT the new HRO website and our long-awaited Core Curriculum project has launched!

The Core Curriculum project is aimed at newcomers to the HIV sector who may have questions not only about the basics of HIV, but also about resources and supports available here in Ontario. Best part: It’s completely free!

The HRO Essentials Guide contains topics such as HIV basics, harm reduction, GIPA/MEPA, and the goal is to continue to add relevant resources that are free and regionally appropriate, dependant on uptake.

Test drive the Core Curriculum today at hivresourcesontario.ca and see how it might benefit you and your workplace!

What’s the T on PNP?

PNP (which stands for “party n’ play”) has evolved into a subculture for gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men, to enhance sexual experiences using drugs. Join a free event to hear presenters talk about PNP harm reduction, and the overall subculture, based on their professional and lived experiences, co-sponsored by the GMSH and St. Michael’s Hospital.

Thursday, June 27, 2019
6:00 to 7:30PM
TRANZAC Club (292 Brunswick Ave, Toronto)

While the event is free, attendees are required to acquire a ticket using this link to attend.

PARTY!!!

Be a Hornet Health Ambassador! Become an InvestiGAYtor!

CRUISElab in partnership with the AIDS Committee of Toronto, Gay Men’s Sexual Health Alliance, and the Hornet App are recruiting individuals who identify as men and who are living in Toronto to participate in a peer educational program!

Successful candidates will be trained as health ambassadors and then, using the Hornet app to connect with others, will engage in discussion around sexual health related topics. Visit http://bit.ly/2hornet_study to sign up!

CRUISElab is also recruiting for the 3rd cohort of the InvestiGAYtors! InvestiGAYtors is a volunteer research training program for young queer guys. Interested? Click here for more info!

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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 rkerr@oan.red.