July 31st, 2012

Therapeutic compliance refers to a person’s ability to undergo a treatment according to the prescription. This ability is influenced positively or negatively by numerous different factors that can interact with each other.

Among the most common causes of non-compliance include forgetting, not being at home, changes to daily routines, difficulty in taking treatments according to the set schedule, the desire to avoid side effects, feeling depressed, fear of being seen taking the treatment, or interruption in the supply of antiretrovirals for HIV-positive people in low- and medium-income countries.

In the case of side effects, studies have clearly demonstrated their negative impact on the degree of compliance.

Counselling and support are indispensable in improving therapeutic compliance, and are part of comprehensive care that takes into account patients’ experience of their illness and the meaning that they give to their treatment and its side effects.


The issue is no longer what must be done to fight HIV/AIDS, but how to do it


July 31th, 2012

Dear reader,

Since its new beginning in 2007, the Fondation québécoise du sida has benefited in many ways from organizational support from COCQ-SIDA. This community solidarity is dear to us, and is a solid partnership for the Fondation. However, the board of directors decided last year to make the Fondation more autonomous by creating a separate executive director position. On June 28, our annual general assembly has honoured me with this important mandate.

While we have the best and most up-to-date knowledge on HIV/AIDS at our disposal, the community organizations must now meet the challenge of integrating that knowledge into its work and adapt its actions to the needs of the populations it serves. Recent scientific advances, new preventive technologies, the effects of stigma and discrimination on the pandemic and the resulting human rights issues, the role of social, economic, and structural factors are among the many parts of the context that must be considered. Today, the issue is no longer what must be done to fight HIV/AIDS, but how to do it, and of course where to get the financial and human resources required.

In Quebec, on top of the difficult economic situation, the political choices of both levels of government lead not only to frequent budget restrictions but also to decisions that may have negative impacts on awareness raising, prevention, and social justice.

As for the situation in Africa, between economic crises and civil wars, your support for the Fondation is more important than ever. Funding for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS are dropping, with some countries lacking the funds needed to contribute and others preparing for the crisis by reducing expenditures. In this context, community work is increasingly difficult. For example, ARCAD/SIDA in Mali saw its testing and medication distribution facilities in the city of Goa destroyed. Deeming the situation in the country too dangerous, and not having completed its evaluations of how its funding was being used, the Global Fund discontinued its contributions. Poor workers have already carried on with their tasks for months as volunteers, but how long can they continue?

While the latest scientific advances could make it possible to wipe out HIV/AIDS, more than ever funding will be the central issue of the next few years.

Thank you so much for your faithful support!


Lise Pinault,
Executive Director

Intake questionnaires in question


July 31st, 2012

Concerned by the intrusive nature of intake health questionnaires given to newly hired employees in Quebec’s hospitals and health and social services centres (CSSSs), the Table sur l’emploi et les incapacités épisodiques* asked the Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse to intervene. After studying the question, the Commission stated that it was highly concerned by the use of these questionnaires, and wrote to some 220 health care institutions to ask them to revise their hiring process. The Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms prohibits employers from asking candidates for employment about their health, unless the question refers specifically to an ability that is required by the nature of the job itself.

* The Table is a group of organizations and associations representing people living with various episodic disabilities, including HIV/AIDS.

A sign language site to fight HIV/AIDS


July 31st, 2012

SCAN0026Founded in 1992, the Coalition Sida des Sourds du Québec (CSSQ) is a community organization and member of the Fondation québécoise du sida which offers preventative and educational services on HIV/AIDS and STBBIs (sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections) for Deaf and Hard of Hearing communities in Quebec. We also provide support services to Deaf and Hard of Hearing people with HIV/AIDS and STBBIs.

On December 1, 2010, to mark World AIDS Day, the CSSQ launched a website in Quebec Sign Language (LSQ) and American Sign Langage (ASL), providing the Quebec Deaf and Hard of Hearing communities with essential information on HIV/AIDS and STBBIs and their treatment.

According to singer Judi Richards, spokesperson for the new web site, “Deaf and Hard of Hearing people are also affected by the HIV epidemic, and in fact are more vulnerable because of the lack of information available in their own languages.”

Michel Turgeon, executive director of the CSSQ, says that to be understood and accessible, information has to be available in sign language, because LSQ and ASL, which have their own grammar and syntax, are often Deaf and Hard of Hearing people’s first languages, with English and French as second languages.

With few resources yet remarkable energy and the support of partners for this innovative project, the CSSQ produced videos in sign language and used 3D technology to serve a community too often left out of prevention and support efforts and to better equip professionals and caregivers working with them.

We can end AIDS


July 31th, 2012

“We can end AIDS,” said UNAIDS executive director Michel Sidibé as he opened the 19th International AIDS Conference, July 2012, Washington. “But this opportunity will evaporate if we do not act.”

This Conference has arrived at a historic turning point in the fight against HIV/AIDS, when universal access to treatment could put an end to a thirty-year pandemic, with antiretrovirals not only allowing HIV-positive people to live in relatively good health, but also preventing transmission of HIV.

However, while universal access to treatment was promised for 2010, insufficient funding has meant that only half of HIV-positive people in low- and middle-income countries currently have access to retroviral drugs, despite recent progress that has given 8 million people access to treatment according to UNAIDS figures.

The current world economic crisis jeopardizes the stability of international aid to fund treatment. In particular, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS has seen its funding drop.

Stigmatization and discrimination against HIV-positive people, criminalization of homosexuality, and inequality of all kinds also remain major obstacles to accessing prevention, detection, and treatment of HIV/AIDS.

Burundi – The prevention of mother-to-child transmission programm, with ANSS


July 31th, 2012

For the ANSS (Association Nationale , medical care is a key service and begins as soon as a patient is admitted to one of the association’s four branches (Turiho, Kirundo, Gitega, and Makamba). The qualified staff orients and accompanies users while giving them quality care: medical consultation, lab results analysis, counselling, voluntary and anonymous testing, as well as social support and more.

IMG_4923Among Burundi’s most important HIV/AIDS-related issues is the defence of the rights of infected women, including the right to have children; the ANSS’s prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) program is part of its commitment to that issue.

All four ANSS branches offer prevention activities to properly inform women of childbearing age about how to have a healthy child and raise it themselves in good physical condition, and make them aware of the importance of asking their doctor for counselling and accompaniment even before conception.

Women taking antiretroviral therapies are offered compliance enhancement sessions, as well as information sessions on infant nutrition, as breast milk is a potential HIV vector.

Pregnant women who are not being treated are accompanied to help them get access to antiretrovirals and, if possible, begin the PMTCT protocol.

Thanks to ANSS, in 2011 alone, 84 HIV-positive pregnant women got access to antiretroviral treatment, and 138 healthy children were born to HIV-positive mothers who had undergone the PMTCT protocol.

2012: The ANSS becomes the 8th full member of Coalition PLUS
Technical support and capacity building for member and partner associations is a cornerstone of Coalition PLUS. Following eight missions in two years and above all, through considerable effort of its own, Burundi’s ANSS meets international standards for accounting, a hallmark of professionalism and credibility, as well as all criteria for full membership in Coalition PLUS. Accordingly, on May 5, 2012, the ANSS became the eighth community organization to become a member since 2008.