The Keep it Alive Campaign, implemented in Ontario by the African and Caribbean Council on HIV/AIDS in Ontario, has a proven track record of success. Issues around HIV and the African, Caribbean and Black (ACB) communities vary between Ontario and Nova Scotia. However, we anticipate this unique project will foster collaboration to make this a more Nova Scotia-focussed effort.
Keep it Alive sprang from a workshop called “Strengthening the Capacity of Service Providers to Deliver HIV Prevention Programs to the African Diaspora in Canada.” The Nova Scotia Advisory Commission on AIDS, the Health Association of African Canadians, and the North End Community Health Centre hosted this workshop. Participants included social workers, nurses, immigrant workers and educators who service our ACB communities. While this campaign is provincial in scope, it is important to understand that it will take time to reach all the communities. If youhave not heard of this campaign, and would like to participate, please contact us.
Why this Campaign? Why now?
The idea to encourage province-wide discussion about of HIV within the ACB communities resulted from discussions held among community members. Recently the Nova Scotia Department of Health and Wellness released a report that provided a snapshot of HIV/AIDS data broken down by race, gender and ethnicity. It shows that ACB communities account for the second largest race/ethnicity group of all HIV cases in Nova Scotia (10.6%) and also reveals that 40% of these cases were women (female), which is significantly higher than the overall percentage of women (female) cases at (17.5%).
Our Desired Outcome
Where ACB communities already account for such a small percentage of the overall population, this statistical evidence is significantly high and should not be ignored, instead we must join together to emphasize the importance of the need for the health care system, community based organizations, service providers and ACB communities to work collaboratively across sectors. It is our hope that this campaign will get people talking about the issues related to HIV risk within our communities. This initiative offers a first step to further conversation around HIV/AIDS to increase our knowledge and capacity to respond to HIV in our communities. pdf Keep it Alive - Poster (1.45 MB) .
Taking Action Together
Our communities matter! Some ways we can learn more is by:
- Look at links of other websites provide resources about HIV/AIDS
- Share information and our Campaign with friends and family... talk about it! We have email-friendly promotional materials. Feel free to request them from us
- Reach out to local supports or organizations to hold an event in your community
- Contact your local AIDS Service Organization (it’s completely anonymous – we won’t ask your name) to ask whatever questions you might have. Even the best resources can leave you with unanswered questions so sometimes talking is helpful.
“Our work here at the North End Community Health Centre promotes awareness of HIV/AIDS and we commend the AIDS Coalition in its attempt to target certain groups to increase knowledge and capacity.” ~ Patti Melanson RN, North End Community Health Centre
“This campaign is a much needed opportunity to engage our members and clients most of whom come from societies where the prevalence of HIV/AIDS is significantly high.”~ Mavis Suh, African Diaspora Association of the Maritimes
“One of the central objectives of the ABSW is to provide education, through courses, seminars and workshops, about social work and programs directed towards persons of African descent. The objectives and activities of the ASBW have a strong fit with this project objective.”~ Veronica Marsman, MSW, RSW, Association of Black Social Workers
What do you think?
African & Caribbean Council on HIV/AIDS in Ontario is made up of organizations and individuals committed to HIV prevention, education, advocacy, research, treatment, care and support for African and Caribbean communities in Ontario.
Africans in Partnership Against AIDS is committed to the provision of HIV/AIDS education in a linguistically and culturally sensitive context. APAA believes that a supportive environment is essential to the well-being of people living with HIV/AIDS (PHAs), as well as their partners, families and friends. Take a look at their website for some valuable information related HIV/ AIDS.
Black CAP is an organization that works to reduce HIV/AIDS in Toronto’s Black, African and Caribbean communities and enhance the quality of life of Black people living with or affected by HIV/AIDS. You can access some valuable information on their website.