About a year ago I took on the role of Executive Director at HIV Community Link. It has been an exciting year of learning and growth, and I am honoured to have joined a team that is so passionate about human rights and harm reduction.

This tenacious and creative group is actively engaged every day in challenging the status quo – working with people who are living with HIV to implement programs and with government to implement policy change around sex worker rights, access to HIV testing, treatment and prevention tools, and with communities affected by HIV and Hepatitis C, to build their capacity to support members of their communities who are vulnerable. The team also provides amazing support to those who are living with or at risk for HIV and Hepatitis C.

Some highlights from the past year are the implementation of our Naloxone program, which is a life-saving response to the current fentanyl overdose crisis; the incorporation of a peer-facilitated support group for couples where one partner has HIV; the delivery of prevention, support and education services to almost 10,000 individuals, and the beginning of a street outreach component to our Shift program, which provides support to people engaged in sex work.

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HIV Community Link Executive Director Leslie Hill (middle) with
Minister of Service Alberta and Minister of Status of Women, Stephanie McLean (right), and Maggie McGinn (left), a longtime advocate for others with HIV
This fall, HIV Community Link is participating in the national Scotiabank AIDS Walk on Sunday, September 18. This year’s Walk will take place at Eau Claire Plaza and the proceeds in Calgary will come to HIV Community Link. The Walk creates an opportunity to talk about HIV, decrease the stigma and discrimination associated with HIV, and to remember those who have been lost. It is also an important fundraiser in support of our mission, Wellness for individuals and communities affected by HIV and hepatitis C through education, prevention and support. Thank you so much for your participation and support! You will help us to achieve our vision: Empowering Choices. Engaging Communities. Ending Transmission.
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Leslie Hill is part of Social Lubricants, the internal AIDS Walk Team. The staff at HIV Community Link are proud supporters of the Scotiabank AIDS Walk, and are fundraising to support the incredible work our agency does every single day! Sign up or donate at http://scotiabankaidswalk.ca/calgary/ to support our programs.
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