Federal funding : What future for the fight against HIV?

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FEDERAL FUNDING FOR THE FIGHT AGAINST HIV
February 15, 2017

The Fqsida member organizations affected by the federal cuts, together with their Canadian counterparts, are pursuing their efforts to have their funding maintained and to obtain an in-depth review of the way Ottawa funds the fight against HIV.

At a time when ending the pandemic seems technically possible, the Federal Government’s lack of vision is to be deplored.

In this highly precarious context, your support for the fight against HIV in Quebec makes an even greater difference. Your one-time donations are also very precious to us! Thank you!

GEIPSI: WHAT FUTURE FOR THE FIGHT AGAINST HIV?

Yvon Couillard is the general director of GEIPSI, a Montreal organization working with a highly marginalized clientele: people living with HIV/Aids or the Hepatitis C virus and who present a profile of homelessness, drug abuse and, sometimes, mental illness. The interview he gave us casts a worrying light on the future of the fight against HIV in Canada.
Federal funding represents 45% of the budget of GEIPSI. For Yvon, the priority is clear: the day centre must be maintained. However, the loss of federal funding would mean eliminating one of the two practitioner posts, reduced services and shorter opening hours.

For now Yvon is waiting for a response to his request for a transitional budget, which, when granted, enables the organizations concerned to keep receiving funding for a year, after which their directors have to present their strategic funding plan. The cuts planned by Ottawa are in no way called into question and the organizations are asked to find for themselves the money they need for their activities!

The situation is particularly worrying since Ottawa does not seem to have any vision on the fight against HIV and Hepatitis C. In Quebec, for example, organizations working with injectable drug users (who are among the key population groups), homeless persons or women (other than sex workers) are mostly threatened by the federal cuts. There does not seem to be any strategy to replace the services threatened by the cuts!

Yvon knows he can count on the mobilization of the community movement for the fight against HIV to obtain federal funding for 2018-2022 for the threatened organizations. However, he does not hide the concern of his team and his beneficiaries.

 

Together, let’s build a world without AIDS or HIV

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aidsOn the occasion of World AIDS Day 2016, on the 1st of December, COCQ-SIDA* is launching a real rallying message to put an end to the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

Stressing the importance of collective work, collaboration and solidarity, this key message invites each and every one to learn about the reality of HIV and ways to protect themselves, and to contribute to the fight against the epidemic through donations, volunteering and pressure on public institutions and by fighting against discrimination and stigmatization.

We know now that it is possible to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic, but there is a long way to go to attain the objective set by UNAIDS for 2030, including in Quebec: invest in prevention, improve access to testing and care, adequately finance grassroot community work, support specialized lodging services etc.

Fqsida has taken ownership of this message so that it can be relayed on a large scale all over Quebec. That is why we are inviting each and every one of you to disseminate it and share it massively on social media in a campaign also aimed at challenging government bodies and elected officials so as to intensify efforts and increase investments.

* Coalition of community organizations from Quebec in the fight against AIDS

Centre des R.O.S.É.S. is one of the 7 organizations threatened by federal funding cuts

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CENTRE DES R.O.S.É.S. IS ONE OF THE SEVEN ORGANIZATIONS THREATENED BY FEDERAL FUNDING CUTS
November 30, 2016

visuel_angOne of the main actors in the fight against HIV/AIDS in Abitibi-Témiscamingue, the Centre des R.O.S.É.S. strives to prevent the transmission of HIV and provide support to people living with HIV in the huge territory.

The new rules for the allocation of funds by the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) stripped the Centre of its eligibility for any federal funding, and the Centre found out in early October that its budget would be cut by 64%. This will evidently have disastrous consequences for the organization, which will be obliged to cut back drastically on its activities. Its general director, Brigitte Laliberté, says it will have to close its offices in summer and reduce its opening times for the rest of the year. Layoffs and scrapping prevention activities in the remotest areas are also not to be ruled out. People living with HIV will necessarily be affected, especially the most isolated ones since services and travel are very expensive in such a vast territory.

The directors of the affected organizations are revolted by the lack of clarity and coherence of the new funding-allocation process. While it was still a draft, many groups had denounced the fact that it took insufficient account of their specific realities. Its implementation has confirmed its limits. For example, the application form leaves little space for describing the project concerned. However, the reason given for refusing to finance the Centre des R.O.S. É.S. was precisely a lack of precision in the description. How is precision possible when the space allocated for it is so small? Moreover, the project was considered insufficiently innovative and inclusive, whereas these criteria had not been initially mentioned. Can they then become criteria for exclusion?

Pending possible responses to these questions and perhaps a reassessment of the applications, the Centre des R.O.S. É.S. prepares to weather the storm, like the six other members of Fqsida and the many community groups throughout Canada that have been hit by the federal cuts.

Now, more than ever, your donations and your support make a difference.