SUPPORT & EDUCATION FOR HIV, HEPATITIS & STIs

ProgramsPhysical Office Closed 

In light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic our physical office remains closed until further notice.

Our virtual office…
ACNS staff are working from home and are checking both email and phone messages regularly. Response times may be slower, so please be patient. As much as possible we will continue to offer our services to our members and communities. While all in-person services have been suspended, we may make an exception with regard to food/personal care and/or medical drop offs on a case-by-case basis. See the Staff Directory below.

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 Shannon at 902-403-7841 and let her 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. As there are some reports of mail delivery being slow 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!

What we know about HIV+ and COVID-19…
While we are still learning about COVID-19, public health officials suggest that people living with HIV who have an undetectable viral load and a normal (or near-normal) CD4+ cell count are not at greater risk for coronavirus-related illness. However, it's in your best interest to act as if you are at risk and take precautions seriously. HIV-positive people who are not on treatment, particularly those with very low CD4+ cell counts, may be at increased risk for coronavirus-related complications. 

     Like HIV-negative people, HIV-positive people may also be at risk for coronavirus-related complications if they are over the age of 65 or have any of the underlying conditions associated with greater risk of illness, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes and kidney injury.

Be there for each other...
We know that some of our members do not have access – or easy access – to phone and internet. If you know of an HIV+ community member without access please pass along the details regarding our temporary closure and that response times will be slowed as staff are remotely checking voice and messages Also, without taking undue risk, check in with HIV+ community members who may be vulnerable at this time and alert us if someone is not okay. 

Staying up to date…
We will provide updates as this situation evolves. You can also check out our Homepage or our Facebook page for updates.  For up-to-date information from the Nova Scotia Health Authority - including how to arrange for COVID-19 testing if needed - go to the Nova Scotia Government website on COVID-19

Stay tuned for more info and stay well! 

Chris Aucoin,
Executive Director

Staff Directory
Chris Aucoin, Executive Director and Fund Development: ed@acns.ns.ca, 902.425.4882 ext 227
Shannon Hardy, Support and Programs: pc@acns.ns.ca, Cell: 902-403-7841 or 902.425.4882 ext 225
Garry Dart, Gay Men’s Health: gmhc@acns.ns.ca, Cell: 902-403-7805 or 902.425.4882 ext 222
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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