NOVA PROJECT

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NOVA PROJECT
No more unanswered questions
March 7, 2018

You’ve just received your test results. They show that you are seropositive or that you are infected with a Sexually Transmitted and Blood Borne Infection. You need information!

Whom can you turn to? Whom can you talk to? You have a lot of questions churning in your mind. How do you face this new reality? The Nova Project has been developed to assist you.
Ensemble

Created by the Portail VIH/sida du Québec, one of our member organizations, its primary mission is to provide information on the realities of HIV infection.

The accompaniment is anonymous, confidential and free. The Nova Project is also about sharing experiences with groups of people living with HIV/AIDS. With Nova, it is now possible to find answers by chatting, texting or calling.

The Nova Project further allows you to contact your partners for fast-track testing or treatment. It also enables you to participate in online evenings.

 

ABC OF HIV : Primary infection

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ABC OF HIVPrimary infection
May 18, 2017

This is the period immediately after the virus enters the body. At this stage, the virus multiplies quickly and transmission risks are highest.

This first phase can come with flu-like symptoms such as fever, throat pain, muscular pain, fatigue, swollen lymph-nodes and skin eruptions.

These symptoms, which disappear after a few weeks, are not present in all infected persons. Sometimes the primary infection stage goes by unnoticed. It is during this period that the immune system produces antibodies to defend itself against the virus.

Source : L’essentiel du VIH/sida, Portail VIH/sida du Québec, Benoît Lemire

REVS+ Burkina Faso – The challenge of caring for vulnerable communities

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REVS+ BURKINA FASO – THE CHALLENGE OF CARING FOR VULNERABLE COMMUNITIES
February 15, 2017

In December last, REVS+ – a member of Coalition PLUS in Burkina Faso – organized a major workshop in Ouagadougou involving many non-governmental organizations active in the fight against HIV/Aids or in the area of human rights, along with many of some of the country’s decision-makers and opinion leaders. The objective of the encounter was to tackle the difficulties linked to providing care for the most vulnerable groups affected by the epidemic in Burkina Faso, and to ensure that these populations are less stigmatized and, at the same time, that greater consideration is given to their fundamental rights and health care needs.

Martine Somda – President of REVS+ and Administrator of Coalition PLUS
Credit : © Coalition PLUS

For Martine Somda, President of REVS+ and Administrator of Coalition PLUS, this workshop was « a victory in that it convinced the decision-makers and opinion leaders present to confront the issues of access to prevention services, care and HIV treatment for all citizens, regardless of gender, religion or sexual orientation and gender identity, with serenity, determination and pragmatism ».

Progress has certainly been registered in Burkina Faso in the fight against AIDS, with the HIV-prevalence rate dropping from over 7% in 1997 to 0.8% today, according to UNAIDS. However, important challenges remain with regard to providing care for the estimated 95,000 persons living with HIV in the country, especially in the most socially or economically vulnerable communities.

To sustain the progress made in the years-long fight against AIDS, continuous outreach to prisoners, children, handicapped persons, sex workers, men who have sex with other men and injectable drug users is an imperative. Unfortunately, the social environment in Burkina Faso is still hostile or indifferent to these communities.

Pre-hiring questionnaires: an illegal but common practice!

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PRE-HIRING QUESTIONNAIRES: AN ILLEGAL BUT COMMON PRACTICE! 
February 15, 2017

Today you can be refused a job after stating in a pre-hiring questionnaire that you are living with HIV or another chronic ailment, even though you do not represent any risk for those around you.

The pratiqueillegale.com web campaign launched by Fqsida in May last highlighted the use, particularly in the Quebec health network, of these discriminatory questionnaires that are clearly condemned by the law.

The online petition calling for the elimination of these illegal questionnaires in the network’s establishments ended on the 31st of January. The signatures were sent to COCQ-SIDA so as to support its efforts to finally end this hiring discrimination and simply have the law respected.

Key populations

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KEY POPULATIONS
February 15, 2017

In the current dynamic of the HIV/AIDS epidemic at the global level, the communities most exposed to the virus are male and female sex workers, men who have sexual relations with other men and injectable drug users. Because of the discrimination and even criminalization they are subjected to, these persons are, in fact, 10% to 24% more liable to be infected by HIV than the general population. What is at issue here is the limited access to prevention and care when their sexual practices or drug use are condemned by society and even the State. According to the terms of reference of the United Nations these are « key » populations in the epidemic.

Source : Pulsation – June 2016 – Coalition PLUS

The blog « Je suis séropo »

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THE BLOG « JE SUIS SÉROPO »
February 15, 2017

This is a space for words and thoughts on the reality of people living with HIV. The aim of this blog is to help reduce the stigmatization and discrimination against them using a personal approach through which the authors promote the values of mutual respect and solidarity, and positive attitudes towards people living with HIV.

Jacques, spokesman of the “I am HIV-positive” campaign, recently published on the blog a very good post on the question of testing, one which is so intimate and, at the same time, has collective relevance.

Excerpt – « First there was a time when knowing or not knowing had little importance, because the only message that people with AIDS received was: we cannot do anything for you, you are going to die.

Then there was a time when knowing would have made a difference, but we did not know that. We did not know that difference, so we developed approaches for identifying the moment when it was preferable to begin the treatments to help us live longer.

Now, we are at the time when it is clearly established that the earlier we know that we are infected, the sooner we can begin treatment that will yield many benefits for the rest of our lives.”

Read the entire post (in French only) on jesuisseropo.org

The Global Fund and Africagay against AIDS, partners in defence of LGBT rights

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THE GLOBAL FUND AND AFRICAGAY AGAINST AIDS, PARTNERS IN DEFENCE OF LGBT RIGHT*
November 30, 2016

Africagay2The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria provides indispensable support to anti-AIDS associations that work to defend the basic rights of LGBT persons in Africa. These include the 19 members of the Africagay network against AIDS. Members of Coalition PLUS, ANSS (Burundi), ARCAD-SIDA (Mali) and REVS+ (Burkina Faso) are part of this network, which is one of a kind, with technical and financial support from the French associations, AIDES (founding member of Coalition PLUS) and Sidaction.

The second “Africagay Network Day against AIDS” was held last October in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. The aim was to fight for equitable access to care in Africa, irrespective of social orientation and gender identity.

« Homosexuals are afraid to leave their homes because there is discrimination in health institutions. Doctors say » ‘I won’t touch a homosexual, my religion forbids it !’ » Homosexuals living with HIV prefer to die at home than to go to those services. » Yves – LGBT militant – Cameroon.

More than 97% of new HIV infections take place in developing countries and only 18% of the world’s States implement HIV-prevention programmes among homosexual and bisexual men, whereas the latter are 5 to 25 times more affected by the virus than the general population. All told, 39 of the 54 countries of the African continent still criminalize homosexuality, condemning gay people to remain in hiding, far from care systems, without treatment or prevention tools.

For more information on the Africagay network against AIDS go to: africagay.org

* Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender
Illustration : @ AIDES — Africagay against AIDS
PHOTO : Africagay, an African combat

 

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

Objective 90-90-90: An ambitious target

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OBJECTIVE 90-90-90: AN AMBITIOUS TARGET
September 8, 2016

At the Durban conference, many actors in the fight against HIV/Aids denounced an enormous gap between the promises to end Aids and the reality on the ground, with funding insufficient and health systems on the brink of implosion.

Funding continues to be the main challenge facing the attainment of the 90-90-90 objective by the year 2020: 90% of persons with HIV knowing their status; 90% of persons tested receiving lasting antiretroviral treatment; 90% of persons under treatment having an undetectable viral load.

Today, 51% of persons with HIV do not know that they have the virus. Three out of four have no access to treatment, and the rate is 9 out of 10 among children. We have all the tools we need to close the gap, but the challenge continues to be huge because of the cost of medication, infrastructure costs, and the human and medical resources needed. Without real political will, we will not be able to attain the 90-90-90 target.

HIV: The tools are there, the funding needs to follow

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HIV: THE TOOLS ARE THERE, THE FUNDING NEEDS TO FOLLOW
September 8, 2016

Summer is coming to an end. A beautiful sun-filled summer that we hope you’ve been able to enjoy to the fullest. To mark the return to school and work, we offer you an opportunity to catch up on the latest on HIV for the summer season, with a selection of news that caught our attention, mainly from the 21st International Conference on HIV/AIDS, held in Durban, South Africa, from the 18th to the 23rd of July 2016.

coupleIt’s confirmed. People living with HIV whose viral load is undetectable cannot transmit the virus to their partners.
An american study published on the 12th of July in the Journal of the American Medical Association monitored 1,166 serodiscordant couples, a third of them same sex, for 16 months and found that there was no HIV transmission between partners when the viral load of the HIV-positive partner could not be detected. The medical treatment used to reduce the viral load can thus, without the shadow of a doubt, also be considered a very effective prevention method since it blocks the transmission of the virus. The relevance of this approach, known as Treatment as Prevention (TasP), has thus been confirmed once again, since it is a significant contributor to the decline of the epidemic.

PrEP “on demand”: A promising approach
Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) continues to demonstrate its effectiveness and each new study shows that it considerably reduces the risk of HIV transmission. The Truvada medication, which prevents the virus from multiplying, was, moreover, approved by Health Canada as a preventive treatment. A Canadian study confirmed that, when taken continuously, it has a 98% rate of success in preventing infection of persons newly exposed to the risk of transmission.

PrEP “on demand”, a one-off prophylactic treatment prescribed during bouts of high risk of exposure to transmission, occupied a place of prominence in the debates at the Durban conference. A first study had established its effectiveness at 86%. A new French study, conducted from November 2014 to 2016 with 362 individuals, yielded results that were even more spectacular. Only one person – who, in fact, had interrupted the PrEP – was infected.

When well managed, PrEP “on demand” represents a promising approach for populations that are highly vulnerable to the risk of HIV transmission, have very high prevalence rates, and among whom the transmission chain seems difficult to break. Not only does it have fewer secondary effects than the continuous treatment formula, but it, moreover, leads to substantial savings which could encourage its development among the biggest pools of high-risk populations.

Objective 90-90-90: An ambitious target
At the Durban conference, many actors in the fight against HIV/Aids denounced an enormous gap between the promises to end Aids and the reality on the ground, with funding insufficient and health systems on the brink of implosion.

Funding continues to be the main challenge facing the attainment of the 90-90-90 objective by the year 2020: 90% of persons with HIV knowing their status; 90% of persons tested receiving lasting antiretroviral treatment; 90% of persons under treatment having an undetectable viral load.

Today, 51% of persons with HIV do not know that they have the virus. Three out of four have no access to treatment, and the rate is 9 out of 10 among children. We have all the tools we need to close the gap, but the challenge continues to be huge because of the cost of medication, infrastructure costs, and the human and medical resources needed. Without real political will, we will not be able to attain the 90-90-90 target.

Sources: La Presse, Ici Radio-Canada, Seronet