GAP-VIES: a busy summer schedule!

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GAP-VIES: A BUSY SUMMER SCHEDULE!
June 16th, 2014

InloveFor over 25 years, GAP-VIES has been working to prevent HIV/AIDS. Strongly anchored in the Haitian community, the organization carries out numerous awareness campaigns aimed at the populations of countries where HIV/AIDS is endemic.

This mobilization is essential, since people from these countries represent 17% of new diagnoses, and 47% of those which relate to women*.  In community intervention, as in communications, successfully generating awareness is no easy feat. The public often will only identify with the message if it is adapted and personalized to their reality.

That’s how the “Getting tested” campaign came into being this spring. This year, intervention workers from GAP-VIES will bring campaign materials along to the outreach activities they participate in every summer in conjunction with major events in and around Montreal, such as Carifesta, Weekends du Monde, sports tournaments, etc.

Building awareness, spreading information, and distributing “Se faire dépister.ca” bracelets and condoms will happen throughout the year via different networks and social meeting places, such as hair salons, adult education centres, dance parties, or auto mechanics and taxi drivers.

Visit gapvies.ca

*  Portrait des infections transmissibles sexuellement et par le sang (ITSS) au Québec Année 2012 (et projections 2013)

Mali: ARCAD-SIDA cooking workshops

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– MALI –
ARCAD-SIDA COOKING WORKSHOPS
June 16th, 2014

© Daniel Hérard – Coalition PLUS

Created and run by ARCAD-SIDA, the Care and Support Healthcare Centers (Centres de Soins d’Animation et de Conseil – CESAC) in Bamako, Kayes, Sikasso and Mopti are facilities where people living with HIV/AIDS can go for information, gatherings, and medical and psychosocial support.

The cooking workshops regularly held at the center bring people living with HIV and their caregivers together around shared meals, prepared by women followed by the association. Each workshop is presented by a trained host, and has three complementary objectives. First, to provide nutritional education by presenting different food groups, their daily benefits, and recipes based around local products. Second, to fight against dietary restrictions and give participants nutritionally rich foods, that could prevent or combat malnutrition. And finally, to create a forum for sharing and mutual encouragement for participants and their loved ones, in a setting of community support. Over the course of a single year, between 13,000 and 15,000 people were able to take part in some 200 workshops organized by the various ARCAD-SIDA centers.

Preventing syphilis: “Soirée légendaire, un dépistage c’est clair”

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PREVENTING SYPHILIS: “SOIRÉE LÉGENDAIRE, UN DÉPISTAGE C’EST CLAIR”
June 16th, 2014

Syphilis is among the STBBIs experiencing a marked rise in Quebec. Gay men and men who have sex with men (MSM) are particularly affected*.

Last April, COCQ-SIDA launched a prevention campaign to emphasize the importance of regular testing and advising your partners, in order to reduce the number of infections within the community.

Because syphilis is often asymptomatic, it can be hard to know when you’ve been infected. What’s more, it’s easily transmissible. That’s why getting tested is one of the best ways to look out for your sexual health, and the health of your partners.

“Although gay men and MSM get tested more often than most people, they should be getting tested even more frequently in order to counter this epidemic. Advising your partners is also an effective way to reduce the number of infections and avoid being re-infected,” states Geneviève Némouthé of COCQ-SIDA.

* Data available online: inspq.qc.ca

Summer is here!

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SUMMER IS HERE!
June 16th, 2014

VoilaeteIt’s finally summer! Warm nights, relaxation, family vacations… And an opportune time to talk to our teens about sex.

As we know, since the 2005 Quebec education reforms, sex education is no longer taught formally in schools, and must now be integrated with the regular curriculum. There are a few good resources, such as the ACCM Teacher’s Toolkit, which help teachers to deal with the subject, but not everyone is comfortable addressing the topics of puberty, interpersonal relationships, sexual orientation, or sexually transmissible and blood-borne infections (STBBI)…

All this at a time when sex education is more important than ever, with cases of STBBI on the rise among 15-24 year olds in Quebec.

As parents, we sometimes feel at a loss when the moment comes to broach these subjects with our teens. Fortunately there are tools to help, like the “Parents’ guide for discussing sexuality with their teen” *. No need to become an expert – all you need is communication and trust on your side!

Have a great summer!

* Published by the ministère de la Santé et des Service sociaux: msss.gouv.qc.ca