SUPPORT & EDUCATION FOR HIV, HEPATITIS & STIs

ProgramsACNS Office Open - By Appointmnet

ACNS is glad to announce that our office will be open to the public on a by-appointment basis as of Sep 21. We are eager to resume working in the office in-person and are looking forward to seeing you once again!

Safe Entry …
When you enter the building please use the provided hand sanitizer. Hand sanitizer stations are located beside the elevators and outside the 2nd floor washrooms. As required by Public Health, a non-surgical face mask or appropriate facial-covering is required to enter the building as well as our offices. If you do not have a mask, we will provide you with one.

Screening ...
When you arrive, the ACNS door will be locked. Please ring the entrance doorbell and take two steps back and away from the door. A staff person will greet you, ask you a series of screening questions which are meant to protect you, us and those around us, then let you in. If you have any symptoms or meet any of the entry restrictions (see below), you will be unable to enter our offices. In that case, we will provide you with contactless support and services, based on the circumstances and your needs. We will provide that by phone, text or email.

Safe Visits ...
Please maintain physical distancing in the building, in our offices and during appointments. Staff will be wearing masks in common areas and during in-person meetings. Do not enter staff offices, maintaining a safe distance by remaining at the door and entering only when you are invited to do so. We will be regularly disinfecting the office during the day and between appointments.

If during your visit you have to cough or sneeze, fully cover your mouth and nose with a tissue. There are boxes of tissues located in common areas and staff offices. Pease take some extras should your require them later. Throw the used tissues in a trash bin. If you don't have a tissue, remove yourself from any enclosed space, them cough or sneeze into your elbow, not into your hands. You may then proceed to wash your hands.

Client Appointments …
Client appointments are available Monday through Thursday between 12noon and 4pm. They will be limited to a maximum of one hour to allow for demand and appropriate disinfecting. We recognize that this schedule may not work for everyone so please let us know and we will work with you to find alternate times.

We are restarting the CATS Program (Complimentary and Alternative Therapies) in early October. The CATS Program currently offers massage and osteopathy, provided by certified and registered therapists.

To book a support visit or a CATS appointment, please contact Dylan Samson, our Programs and Support Coordinator. Dylan can be reached at pc@acns.ns.ca, Cell: 902-403-7841 (voice + text) or 902.425.4882 ext 225 / 1-800-566-2437 ext 225.

Other Appointments, Pick-ups and Deliveries …
All other appointments or if you are coming to pick something up or deliver something, you must schedule a time with the relevant staff person. See the Staff Directory at the bottom of this window.

 

Please DO NOT Enter the Building or our Offices...
…if over the last 48 hours you are currently experiencing or have recently experienced ANY of the following symptoms, OR your answer is YES to any of the following Entry Screening Questions:

Symptoms 

- fever / chills / sweats
- new or worsening cough / sore throat
- runny nose / nasal congestion
- chest pain /  any shortness of breath / difficulty breathing / any degree of tiredness 
- loss of speech or loss of movement of your head, arms, legs, fingerrs or toes
- headache
- diarrhea
- conjunctivities (pink eye) 
- loss of taste or smell 
- rash anywhere on your sckinn / discolouration of your fingers or toes 

Entry Screening Questions

a) Have you had close contact within the last 14 days with someone who has a confirmed case of COVID-19?
b) Have you had close contact within the last 14 days with someone being tested or has been tested for COVID-19?
c) Have YOU been diagnosed with COVID-19 or, are YOU waiting to get results of a lab test for COVID-19?
d) Have you returned from travel outside of Atlantic Canada within the last 14 days?
e) Have YOU been told by public health that you may have been exposed to COVID-19? 

If you have or are experiencing any symptoms or if you answered YES to any of those questions, do NOT go the hospital or to a doctor's office. Call 811 immediately to enquire about a COVID-19 assessment and testing.  

 

Cell Phones For Clients

Reaching us without a phone is hard right now so...
ACNS has a limited supply of prepaid cell phones for our HIV+ clients who need a phone.* Contact Dylan at 902-403-7841 and let him know how / when / where she can get a phone to you.  Or leave a message at 902-425-4882, ext 225.  If you know of an ACNS client who needs a phone please let us know.

* Funding provided by the joint effort of the Atlantic Compassion Fund, the Government of Canada’s New Horizons Seniors Program, Nova Scotia Power, EfficiencyOne, the Province of Nova Scotia and many generous corporate and individual donors.

 

Order HIV Meds Early

Look after yourself and plan…
We encourage our HIV+ members to make sure they have an adequate supply of their HIV medications and all other necessary medications. At this time prescriptions filled by the 6 North Pharmacy (Victoria General Hospital) are ONLY being mailed or couriered. We recommend arranging for refills 3-4 weeks before you are to run out. Be sure to listen closely to the phone instructions when you call the pharmacy and to provide your complete mailing address when arranging refills. 

Pay attention to reliable sources of info about the pandemic - like this Nova Scotia Government website and protect yourself: physically isolating yourself and regular hand-washing are "your friends"! Taking your HIV medications daily is always important - and especially so at this time!

Stay tuned for more info and stay well! 

Chris Aucoin,
Executive Director

Staff Directory
Chris Aucoin, Executive Director: ed@acns.ns.ca, 902.425.4882 ext 227
Dylan Samson, Support and Programs: pc@acns.ns.ca, Cell: 902-403-7841 or 902.425.4882 ext 225
Mitch Hill, Health & Wellness Educator (PT): gmhc2@acns.ns.ca, Cell: 902-403-7805 or 902.425.4882 ext 222
Garry Dart, Health & Wellness Educator (PT): gmhc@acns.ns.ca, 902.425.4882 ext 222
Rowan MacArthur, Fund Development: fund@acns.ns.ca, 902.425.4882 ext 226
Ned MacInnis, Program Support: ps@acns.ns.ca, 902.425.4882 ext 224

 

ProgramsBlack Lives Matter

 

June 5, 2020

The board and staff of the AIDS Coalition of Nova Scotia stand with activists across Canada, the United States and around the world fighting against anti-Black racism and police violence. 

We stand in solidarity with activists, individuals and communities who are impacted by the deaths of George Floyd (Minneapolis), Tony McDade (Tallahassee), Regis Korchinski-Paquet (Toronto) and others. We support the call for an independent inquiry into Regis Korchinski-Paquet’s death. We support the call for charges to be dropped against Santina Rao. We support the call for the implementation of the African Nova Scotian Policing Strategy.

This week ACNS has made the decision to pause our usual social media content in support of prioritizing Black voices and promoting racial justice.

Anti-Black racism is a pervasive and systemic problem in Nova Scotia that causes harm in many ways. We have seen this in our own work, as systemic racism in Canada has created inequities that leave African, Caribbean and Black Canadians more vulnerable to HIV infection. We have seen anti-Black racism in the disproportionate policing and criminalization of African, Caribbean and Black people by police forces in Nova Scotia, and we know disproportionate incarceration rates have a compounding effect on the risk of HIV and hepatitis C infection.

Anti-Black racism has long been entrenched in our education, healthcare, political and legal systems. It is also entrenched in the work of not-for-profits and charities. Earlier this year ACNS began a process to create an intersectional and anti-oppressive framework to address how our board and staff work with and for all members of the priority communities regarding HIV – including African, Caribbean and Black Nova Scotians. 

Beyond this week, ACNS is committed to ongoing education and dialogue within our own organization, and in the broader HIV and sexual health sector in Nova Scotia to confront anti-Black racism. We invite our allies in Nova Scotia and beyond to join us in this important and ongoing work.

Black Lives Matter

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