This campaign was developed by the AIDS Coalition of Nova Scotia and fits with the 2018 UNAIDS World AIDS Day theme of “Know Your Status” and highlights the importance of effective testing.
AIDS Awareness Campaign 2015/16: Together we can stop HIV stigma
This campaign was developed by the AIDS Coalition of Nova Scotia, in partnership with the Northern Healthy Connection Society (formerly the Northern AIDS Connection Society), the Ally Centre of Cape Breton, Healing Our Nations, the Positive Women’s Network, the Gender and Health Promotion Studies Unit at Dalhousie University, and the Nova Scotia Advisory Commission on AIDS, in the fall 2015. The goal of the campaign is to raise awareness about the stigma people living with HIV face, as well as to raise awareness about HIV testing and risk.
Check out the key results from our feedback survey of gay / bi / bi-curious men about the Check Me Out campaign in this great new infographic here.
For more about what you told us, or to ask us questions, check out our OUTcomes FaceBook page.
We have a much clearer picture today about how and why gay / bi / bi-curious men are still getting infected with HIV at significantly higher rates than the general population. To reflect this new information, we have created an easy-to-use sexual health checklist for men to take to their family doctors or other healthcare professionals. We encourage men to use the checklist as a resource to educate both themselves and their doctors about regular sexual health maintenance. A second expanded checklist for doctors and other healthcare professionals is also available. Links for each checklist are below, as are links for more information too.
Sexual health can be a very complicated subject. We developed the Check Me Out Checklists to make things a whole lot easier for gay / bi / bi-curious men (and their healthcare professionals).
Information for doctors & healthcare providers
For more information about Check Me Out
Campaign Endorsed by
Campaign funding provided by the Community Health Board Development Funds of Halifax, Southeastern, and Chebucto West; also by Capital Health (prideHealth, and Public Health).
Photography provided by: Dana Fraser
Online media sponsorship: Wayves
Print media sponsorship: The Coast
The Check Me Out Campaign is an initiative of the Gay Men’s Health Project as part of ACNS’ ongoing HIV prevention work. Two family physicians and five community partners were involved its development.
In 2013, ACNS began the “Resiliency within the HIV Community through Mental Health Strategies”program. It was initially implemented during the 2013 NS HIV/AIDS Knowledge Exchange and Health Promotion Forum.
This programexplored the links between HIV/AIDS, addiction, mental health, and resilience with people living with HIV/AIDS and workers in AIDS service organizations and related fields. It aimed to advance strengths-based models that build resilience for those living with, most at risk of, and working in the area of HIV/AIDS. The project engaged key stakeholders to identify models of practice and actions that reinforce existing strengths within our communities and provide opportunities to build resilience.
The AIDS Bereavement Project describes resiliency as, “the capacity of individuals and group to move forward with hope, clarity and effectiveness in the face of multiple loss, complex grief and ongoing transition related to HIV/AIDS”. The stories listed below are our stories, our stories of hope, loss, and strength, and our resilience.
The AIDS Bereavement and Resiliency Project of Ontario’s website offers more information and materials
CATIE The Positive Side » Summer 2014 Ask the Experts: Learning to Live with Grief
Yvette Perreault explores the impact of HIV-related loss and what helps survivors through their sorrow.
Learn about ACNS’ exploration of resiliency in the Knowledge Exchange and Health Promotion Forum Report
A few years ago, ACNS, in collaboration with a variety of community partners, launched a province-wide campaign in response to the stigma and discrimination experienced by people living with HIV/AIDS (PHAs). It was a great success and the message is still relevant today.
Stigma is “a quality that is seen to mark an individual as different or bad,” and discrimination is “the behaviour or action tied to stigma.” The negative treatment of HIV+ people is discrimination, based on stigma.
Factors contributing to stigma and discrimination include:
Stigma and discrimination can cause real damage to lives – affecting someone’s work, housing, medical servicesand safety, causing fear and depression. A disproportionate number of PHAs are living with depression,which only further exacerbates a person’s ability to be well.
But it doesn’t stop there. According to the Canadian AIDS Society, “stigma and discrimination associated with HIV continue to make it difficult to teach prevention and awareness to those most susceptible to infection.”
Eliminating stigma altogether requires a paradigm shift some may think this is unrealistic. But studies show that through a variety of intervention strategies something can be done about stigma and discrimination on many levels. The general population can increase its knowledge about HIV, can improve its attitude towards PHAs, and can increase its volunteerism in the HIV field. Consequently evidence proves that this all can and will reduce the level of stigma and discrimination experienced by PHAs and increase their health and wellness.
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:
“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.
We are overrun with information thanks to Twitter, Facebook, websites, our friends, etc. But there are certain things we need to know that can be hard to talk about, or find reliable information on.
For example, did you know:
The links below will help you become more informed about current issues around testing, safer sex, HIV/AIDS and STIs. Of course, always remember you can find out information from your family doctor and/or a local health clinic. If you’re not sure what to do, ask someone you trust.
Download our fact card set. Sized to print on business card sheets that can be purchased at most office supply stores.
HIV and STIs
Information or testing, within Halifax