Maison Plein Cœur: Dance to give


Maison Plein Coeur : Dance to give
March 7, 2018

Many organizations in Quebec suffer from the budgetary restrictions of governments. These austerity measures are not without consequence for the lives of these bodies, which simply no longer manage, or find it difficult, to provide programmes and services for the people concerned.

Today, Maison Plein Cœur is the organization affected and it is launching its fundraising campaign, under the theme of Maison Plein Cœur: Let’s Keep Up the Rhythm!

With the federal government’s cuts, the organization is hit by a $100,000 deficit in annual funding. These cuts will therefore end its accompaniment services, reinsertion support or discussion workshops. A total of over 1,000 essential interventions will be affected.

Faced with this new reality, Maison Plein Cœur is, through this campaign, calling for goodwill contributionsto pursue its mission to provide direct help to people living with HIV/AIDS.


Passing of Evelyn Farha


Passing of Evelyn Farha
January 19th 2018
Evelyn FarhaWith profound sadness, we announce the passing of Evelyn Farha (nee Malacket) on Thursday, January 18, 2018. Devoted mother of Nancy (Ali), Carolyn, Linda (Mike), grandmother/tete to Jasmine (Marc), Adam, Alexandra and Matthew, predeceased by her husband Joseph Farha and son, Ronald Farha.

For 25 years, Evelyn Farha served as the Honourary President of the Farha Foundation. She worked tirelessly to carry out the mission of her late son, Foundation founder Ron Farha, by helping Quebecers with HIV/AIDS obtain support and care. Her goal was to see that no other family suffers the same loss as her by educating the community that the disease is preventable.

Evelyn has received numerous accolades for her inspiring efforts. In 2013, she was the recipient of the Médaille de l’Assemblée nationale. In 2002, the Governor General presented her with the Golden Jubilee Medal. During that same year, she was also recognized by the Canadian-Lebanese Chamber of Commerce & Industry, who presented her with the Cedar & Maple Award in the category of Personality of the Year. In 2000, the Governor General’s office bestowed Evelyn with the Caring Canadian Award.

An active member in the Montreal community, Evelyn has assisted local church board members by leading numerous fundraising activities, and through teaching religious studies. She was also volunteered at the Royal Victoria Hospital’s Oncology Department, assisting patients by offering personal care and support.

The family will receive friends at Urgel Bourgie, 1255 Beaumont Ave, Montreal, QC H3P 0A1 on
Sunday, January 21, 2018 from 2:00-5:00 and 7:00-9:00 PM.

Funeral services will be held on Monday, January 22, 2018 at 11:00 AM with viewing from 10:00 AM at The St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church, 555 Jean Talon St E, Montreal, QC H2R 1T8

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Evelyn’s memory to the Fondation Quebecoise du Sida (FQS), 1 Sherbrooke St E, Montreal, QC H2X 3V8. Condolences, photographs and memories may be forwarded though

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 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.

HIV Info Rights for any legal question on HIV status


November 30, 2016

VIH info droits (HIV info rights) is a service within COCQ-SIDA* that aims to defend the rights of persons living with HIV/AIDS, and provide information and legal assistance devoted exclusively to issues linked to the HIV status of a person. It offers a variety of tools designed to help people make informed choices. It targets persons living with HIV as well as anyone involved in situations related to the former’s rights (care providers, health networks, employers etc.)

For more information, contact VIH info droits: Geneviève Binette – 514 844 2477 ext. 34 or 1 866 535 0481 ext. 34 (free of charge) –

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

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


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:

* 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


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


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.

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:

Morocco – Testing: the first step towards ending HIV/AIDS


November 26, 2015


© Coalition PLUS (Daniel Hérard)

Ahead of World Aids Day on 1 December, the ALCS, a Moroccan member of Coalition PLUS, is organising its traditional National Testing Days in November in partnership with Morocco’s Ministry of Health. Objective: Facilitate access to free, anonymous HIV testing for the people of Morocco, in keeping with the objectives of the national strategic plan for the fight against AIDS.

During the previous edition of this event, 38,500 tests were administered in the 28 centres and 5 mobile units (buses) run by the ALCS in 40 towns and villages of the Kingdom. A formidable result made possible by the commitment of 50 volunteer doctors throughout the four-week-long operation.

According to UNAIDS estimates, there are more than 30 000 persons living with HIV in Morocco, and 80% of them are unaware that they are infected since they have not been tested. Moreover, 60% of persons who have been diagnosed as HIV-positive only gain access to medical care at a late stage of infection. Yet, many studies have shown that someone who has been diagnosed early and provided with treatment from an early stage no longer transmits the virus thanks to the protective effects of the treatment. Testing, therefore, is definitely the first step towards ending the epidemic.


New protest against underfunding of Quebec’s community groups


November 26, 2015

on fermeThis last November 2nd and 3rd, close to 1,300 community groups closed their doors in protest against their precarious funding. The strike movement, which affected the whole of Quebec, was accompanied by demonstrations that drew attention to a funding shortfall, estimated at 250 million dollars, that has led many organisations to fear that they may be forced to close for good.

By reducing services, the government’s austerity policy deeply hurts the rights of poor, marginalised people and the community organisations that work with and for them. As people’s needs increase, they rely more and more to the organisations, whose funding, on the other hand, does not increase.
The under-funding of community groups is nothing new, but current government policies have been weakening the organisations, preventing them from fully carrying out their mission.

In this difficult situation, Fqsida takes the opportunity to thank you once again for your support and loyalty!

On 2 and 3 November, Fqsida, in solidarity with its member organisations and the community movement as a whole, made an exceptional gesture by closing its doors and interrupting its activities.