Archive for 2014

Pow Wow Snagging

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Every spring and summer the Aboriginal Communities gear up for the Pow wow season. Many travel to other provinces or across the Canada/US border, hitting the road for the whole summer riding the Pow wow trail. “The Powwow is a gathering of people from all over North America. It is a great place to meet […]

We at HIV Community Link would like to express our sincere condolences upon receiving news of yesterday’s Malaysia Airlines plane crash.

For some, a trip to the clinic for STI testing is as regular a part of their health routine as going to the doctor for a check-up. For others, it seems embarrassing, like they will be judged. Let me begin this by saying that is far from the truth. You will not be judged, or […]

Cowboys and Condoms!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

YAH HOO! It is that time of year again. The cow folk are restless, the city is in anticipation with business and corporate sectors prepping the multitudes of pancake breakfasts and other Stampede celebration events throughout the city. Yes, Stampede 2014 is just around the corner and the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth brings some […]

Statement by HIV Community Link

Calgary, Alberta June 5th, 2014 – Yesterday Justice Minister Peter MacKay introduced a new bill the Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act that will reform Canada’s prostitution laws. The Government of Canada’s comprehensive and “made-in-Canada” approach will criminalize the purchase of sex, communicating for the purpose of selling sex, gaining material benefit from sex work, and advertising sexual services.

“At Shift we are reeling with disappointment following the announcement of the Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act,” says Susan Cress, Executive Director of HIV Community Link which houses the Shift program which provides support services to adults currently and formerly working in the sex industry. “This new legislation does not resolve the problems found by the Court in Bedford to be unconstitutional rather it imposes more danger, more criminalization and fewer safe options for sex workers.”

This bill would make it illegal to communicate sexual services in a public place that is or is next to a place where anyone under the age of 18 could “reasonably be expected to be present.” This will displace sex workers into dangerous and isolated parts of the city where they are more likely to work alone in order to avoid police detection. Sex workers will not be able to screen clients and negotiate the terms of the transaction, resulting in a much greater risk of harm that the Supreme Court deemed unconstitutional back in December.

This Canadian approach is an unconstitutional variation that will lead to more violence against sex workers in Canada. At HIV Community Link, we support decriminalization of sex work which has been extremely successful in New Zealand. This model has shown no growth of the sex industry, no increase in the numbers of sex workers and no increase in trafficking. Decriminalization has improved the overall employment conditions and a decrease in violence against sex workers. Improved relationships with police means sex workers are able to report violence and expect and receive police protection.

Money Matters!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Money matters a lot and influences all areas of our lives. While there are many people living with HIV (PHAs) who have financial stability, numerous PHAs experience financial insecurity. In an informal survey of PHAs who access HIV Community Link’s HIV support services programs, 64% reported that they have financial needs. There are many reasons […]

Coral’s Guide to Food Safety!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Food safety is important, especially for people living with HIV. Every year, over 4 million Canadians get food poisoning also known as foodborne illness.

Research indicates individuals who are HIV positive but undiagnosed may be the source of a majority of new infections, driving the epidemic in those populations most at risk. At HIV Community Link, we believe HIV testing is essential in reducing potential for forward transmissions and new infections. Early diagnosis is also a primary factor in health and wellness for people living with HIV. Enhanced access to HIV testing has a profound impact on both individual and community health outcomes.

BBBJ’s: They Don’t Exist in a Vacuum

Thursday, April 17, 2014

One day, while organizing Shift’s condom supply, I took the following photo of all of our beautifully colored flavored condoms: I wanted to post it on our blog because a) The condoms looked so adorable and pretty and b) I love writing about safe sex.  I figured I would include some facts about STI transmission […]

Giving the Gift of Time

Thursday, April 10, 2014

National Volunteer Week (April 6 – 12, 2014) is a time when volunteers of every position and description are honoured across the country. This is a time to think about the impact our volunteers have had at HIV Community Link (HCL). As a person responsible for volunteerism at HCL, and as a volunteer myself, I […]