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June 3, 2020
Ontario’s HIV sector stands in solidarity with Black Lives Matter to resist anti-Black racism and anti-Black violence.
Over the past week, we’ve witnessed unprecedented violence against Black communities in North America - much of it at the hands of the police and the state. The latest incidents of state-sanctioned violence against Black people, including Regis Korchinski-Paquet, George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade and countless others, remind us that to be Black in North America is to live with enduring and historic anti-Black racism that perpetuates violence, and systemic, economic, health and social inequities. In recognition of these realities, the Ontario AIDS Network and its members stand in solidarity with Black Lives Matter movements in Ontario, across Canada, and around the world.
This is a critical moment for Ontario’s HIV sector to stand in solidarity with Black communities and speak out against anti-Black racism. It is vital that our network commit publicly to challenging white supremacy and to raising our collective voice against pervasive violence and systemic discrimination against Black people.
Our organizations and movement are built on foundational social justice principles that endure in our work to this day. Many of these same principles lay at the foundation of the Black Lives Matter movement. Our histories of collective HIV activism and the 51st anniversary of the Stonewall riots are prescient reminders of our deep roots of social action and resistance and of what change can come when we act together.
As we continue to use our collective tools and voices to dismantle HIV stigma and to challenge the status quo, we must begin to speak out louder on behalf of and with Black communities and organizations like Black Lives Matter. We must collectively acknowledge high and persistent HIV rates in Ontario’s African, Caribbean and Black communities and the ways that anti-Black racism and persistent health inequities contribute to this reality. Our collective voices must also rise in resistance to anti-Indigenous racism, transphobia, and countless other forms of oppression in our community.
While the state has indeed perpetrated violence against Black communities, we must acknowledge the role of our organizations in perpetuating this violence. As community-based organizations, we must examine the ways in which our own silence makes us complicit and commit to identifying and addressing occurrences of anti-Black racism within our sector and organizations.
The Ontario AIDS Network and its membership stand with those fighting for the fair and equitable treatment of Black communities at home and abroad. We the undersigned:
• Affirm this statement in solidarity with Black communities and with the Black Lives Matter movement.
• Commit ourselves to challenging anti-Black racism and violence through our actions.
• Commit to ensuring that Black communities who access HIV-related services in Ontario can do so without fear of discrimination.
Black Lives Matter.
Read the full statement here: https://oan.red/blm/
May 6, 2020
For more information visit https://whai.ca
April 25, 2020
Regional HIV/AIDS Connection is collecting handmade face masks to be distributed to those we serve through our Carepoint Consumption and Treatment Service. Many of our clients experience challenges, including housing instability, that make social distancing difficult. Face coverings are an additional measure that we are requesting on behalf of our clients to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
We need our community’s help. If you are able to sew or make a non-medical mask, please contact Fran at email@example.com or (519) 239-0802. We will accept donation drop-offs at John Gordon Home (596 Pall Mall Street, London, ON) between 8 AM—5 PM. Please contact Fran if pick-up is required.
It is recommended that donated masks:
- Fit snugly, but comfortably, without causing difficulty breathing
- Should include straps or ties to secure the mask over one’s ears
- Should include multiple layers of fabric
- Should be easy to machine wash and dry without damaging the integrity of the mask
For more information about how to make a face mask, please visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html
April 24, 2020
The past few weeks have proven the importance of community. At RHAC, we know just how powerful our community can be. Thanks to your generous contributions, RHAC has carried on the tradition of A Taste for Life (ATFL) and raised more than $4000 so far!
One of our participating local restaurants has reached out to help keep the ATFL spirit going. On Monday, April 27th, 25% of all orders placed with Plant Matter Kitchen will be donated to RHAC in support of our client programs and services.
You can still support RHAC's clients in the spirit of A Taste for Life by making an online donation here.
Thank you for your continued support and making a valuable difference in our community!
April 24, 2020
Nominate a Volunteer: VKH Awards
Nominations are now open for RHAC's volunteer awards! Regional HIV/AIDS Connection’s Volunteer Awards highlight how volunteers have enhanced the delivery of our mission in the counties we serve. The awards celebrate volunteers who embody our value statement: “The courage to do what is right” and embrace our vision of Voice, Knowledge and Hope while exemplifying our guiding principles.
To nominate a volunteer:
Deadline is May 31.
April 22, 2020
We’re asking you—our community—for help.
This evening, we would have been coming together for A Taste for Life 2020 in support of those living with HIV/AIDS in our community. In light of COVID-19, we made the decision to cancel A Taste for Life because it was the right thing to do. However, this cancellation means that many of our client services and programs will be lacking thousands of dollars in funding from one of our biggest annual events.
As Canadians come together to help one another, we are asking for your help to continue supporting our clients during this crisis. In lieu of dining out for A Taste for Life this year, we hope our friends and supporters will consider donating to our online fund.
If you plan to order-in food or buy a gift card in the coming weeks, please consider supporting our restaurant partners (See the full list here: www.atasteforlife.org/londonstratford).
We are so thankful to these community partners and business owners and to you, our, supporters. We would also like to recognize all of the amazing support shown over the years from our longstanding sponsor TD Bank Group and most importantly you—our community.
April 19, 2020
We miss our volunteers. While RHAC continues to serve our community, something is missing: Our volunteers. Each and every one of you is incredibly important to our organization and our mission. You make a huge difference in our community, and your absence is certainly felt by our staff. While we miss all of you very much, your health and safety is our priority and we’re happy to know you are staying safe at home. You may not be here with us at the moment, but you are still a vital part of the RHAC family and our community. Thank you so much for all that you do!
We look forward to coming back together soon.
— Fran McKeown, Coordinator of Volunteer Services
In recognition of our wonderful volunteers, RHAC is proud to honour National Volunteer Appreciation Week (April 19-25, 2020). Here's what our remarkable team of volunteers accomplished in 2019:
March 28, 2020
RHAC's next scheduled PrEP Clinic (April 3, 2020) will be provided by phone. After that time, the mode of delivery for our bi-weekly PrEP Clinic (i.e. phone appointments vs. in-person appointments) will be determined based on the most current information available about COVID-19 and municipal, provincial and federal health recommendations. We will be sure to share updates accordingly. Thank you for your ongoing flexibility, understanding and support during this time.
March 26, 2020
Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU)
As of Friday, March 20 at 1:00 p.m., the Health Unit’s 50 King St. office will be closed permanently. Health Unit clinics will be closed Friday, March 20 at 1:00 p.m. until Monday, March 30.
Reception will open at the new location inside Citi Plaza (355 Wellington St., London, ON) on Tuesday, March 24 and we’re hoping to provide some limited clinics starting on March 30th, if possible. Starting Monday, March 30, clients will be required to call the Health Unit to:
- Schedule STI Clinic appointments
- Schedule Birth Control Clinic appointments
- Pick-up birth control
- Schedule Immunization Clinic appointments
For more information, please visit: https://www.healthunit.com/contact-mlhu#
The Options Clinic at LIHC
"Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have closed our Argyle and Huron locations. At our Dundas location we are offering limited outreach, essential primary care services and emergency basic needs supports. Non-essential services are available through phone appointments. All our community programs and groups have been cancelled. For more information and to book an appointment, please call 519-660-0874.
For our clients and program participants, we have opened a direct phone line for questions specifically related to COVID-19. Please call us anytime from Monday to Friday 9am – 4pm at 519-657-4873. Be safe to protect yourself and your loved ones! Remain at home, stay six feet away from others (physical distancing) and wash your hands frequently!"
For more information, please visit: https://lihc.on.ca/important-coronavirus-covid-19-update-march-17-2020-h...
March 23, 2020
Effective March 23, 2020, calls to RHAC’s main phone lines at (519) 434 1601 or toll-free at 1 (866) 920-1601 will be handled through our automated messaging service. You will be provided with guided instructions for leaving your message on staff extensions. Messages will be checked regularly and responded to as soon as possible. Please note that you will still have the option to leave a message on our general agency mailbox, send emails directly to staff, or email RHAC at firstname.lastname@example.org. All other RHAC services remain unchanged from last week's announcement.