BLITS: Sexe-Cité, a different approach to sex for 15- to 25-year-olds

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BLITS: SEXE-CITÉ, A DIFFERENT APPROACH TO SEX
FOR 15- TO 25-YEAR-OLDS

February 16, 2016

sexe-cite

SEXE-CITE – A world of pleasure, communication and safety
• To approach sex differently
• To discuss sex today
• To know more about safe sex

An increase in sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections (STBBI) among 15- to 24-year-olds, the « hypersexualisation » of society, the absence of sex education from school curricula in Quebec (since 2005) … Our young people do not always find answers to their questions. Parents and educators often feel inadequate.

Born of this harsh realization, BLITS’ Sexe-Cité is a sex-education initiative that aims to develop the empowerment – the ability to take action – of 15- to 25-year-olds using the notions of pleasure, consensus, security and sexual health.

The aims of the Sexe-Cité workshops are to:
• Stimulate the emergence of a critical awareness with regard to stereotypes, pornography and sexual messages, which are omnipresent in our society;
• Update young people’s knowledge of STBBI, modes of transmission and prevention;
• Foster active participation (communication, consensus, mutual respect);
• Increase self-esteem and self-confidence, and enhance awareness of one’s own needs, values, desires and limits with regard to sex.

The workshops, designed for same-sex groups of six to 15 participants, are conducted free of charge in requesting organisations. They consist of three sessions of about 90 minutes each.

Sexe-Cité is also a microsite for young people, with videos and awareness-building quizzes.

Visit blits.ca/sexe-cite/c-est-quoi (French only)

Is HIV a reportable disease?

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IS HIV A REPORTABLE DISEASE?
February 16, 2016

Some believe that people living with HIV must disclose their viral status to their employers, to their dentists etc. because, they claim, HIV/AIDS is a reportable disease. How true is this?

For Health Canada, a reportable disease is a « disease considered sufficiently important to make it compulsory to declare any cases observed to the health authorities ». It can be a contagious disease that was thought to have disappeared or to have been under control, or a disease caused by exposure to chemicals or parasites, such as cholera, measles or cancer caused by asbestos.

This list is proposed to the provinces which decide, for each illness, the information to be reported to Health Canada and the type of monitoring to be carried out. Quebec has thus established its own list. These are illnesses liable to cause epidemics if nothing is done to keep them in check and recognized as significant threats to public health. The name of a person infected with a reportable disease, his or her contact details, date of birth and health-insurance number, along with details of the disease’s progress have to be reported so as to prevent it from spreading.

In Québec, HIV/AIDS is not a reportable illness, because it is not a contagious disease requiring immediate intervention. The only circumstance in which HIV/AIDS is reportable is when the person concerned has received or given blood or tissues.
Each new case of HIV/AIDS is declared, but without naming the patient. The information reported can only be used for statistical purposes.

Disclosing one’s HIV status therefore has nothing to do with the idea of reportability.

HIV status is confidential. A person living with HIV is not obliged to disclose it to anyone, except in two precise situations: when (s)he takes out an insurance policy; before a sexual relationship that entails a “realistic possibility” of HIV transmission. Moreover, under no circumstances may a third party disclose the viral status of another person without his/her consent.

For more information: cocqsida.com

Coalition PLUS says STOP medical apartheid!

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COALITION PLUS SAYS STOP MEDICAL APARTHEID!
February 16, 2016

Combler ecartBarely 41% of persons living with HIV worldwide receive an antiretroviral treatment today and only 32% of children infected with the virus have access to these vital medicinal drugs. Globally, nine persons out of 10 live in regions of the world where they do not have access to these precious molecules from the time they are diagnosed HIV-positive.

In the poorest countries most patients who are diagnosed are turned away from medical care. There are not enough drugs to go around so they are told to return when they develop AIDS, even if that could be too late. In most of the wealthy countries, people living with HIV have access to the care and treatment they need, irrespective of how far the infection has progressed.

This is a new form of medical apartheid at the global level. These inequalities in access to health are not only revolting. They are also an aberration given the scientific knowledge available today. It should be recalled, here, that someone diagnosed and treated effectively no longer transmits the virus thanks to the preventive effect of the treatment. Without access to treatment, there is no end to AIDS.

Working continuously in the field to correct this injustice, the militants of Coalition PLUS have decided to send a clear message to their governments: No more excuses. Time is running out. Every person living with HIV must be given treatment urgently. Millions of lives depend on it.

Thank you for joining us in this combat. Your donations enable us to act.

Visit coalitionplus.org

Image from the December 1st, 2014 UNAIDS campaign.

Volunteers: Key actors on the community scene

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VOLUNTEERS: KEY ACTORS ON THE COMMUNITY SCENE
February 16, 2016

Volunteering, the cultural cornerstone of the community movement, is essential to the daily functioning of organisations.

Petites mainsAgainst today’s trend of disengagement by governments from major social sectors such as education or health, to mention the most evident ones, the role each individual can play within his/her community appears all the more crucial. Evidently, it is not a matter of substituting collective or individual social initiatives for the functions of government bodies, but volunteers have long understood the role they can play so as to help shape the new face of our society.

The commitment and altruism of these men and women take, in fact, very many forms and the expression « giving of one’s time » seems a gross understatement when placed against the tremendous contribution they make. Volunteers participate in the democratic decision-making process (boards of directors, executive councils, etc.) of organisations and associations. They offer their services to people so as to foster the improvement of their quality of life while maintaining them in their natural environment. They lead support, self-help, artistic-expression, meditation and other groups. They become the faces of causes by sharing their experiences or being their spokespersons. They offer their professional skills (accounting, law, massotherapy, psychology, etc.) for free.

Volunteers invest their time, energy, skills and good humour! Just like you, dear donors, they make a difference each day towards a society with greater solidarity, a more balanced society.