Position Statements

Preamble

 

The following statements outline positions that The AIDS Network (TAN) has taken on issues that affect our organization, its clients, and the communities we serve. We have put them together in one document so that they’re easy to find and quick to cite but also because no one of these issues stands alone as more or less important than another (they are listed alphabetically by subject).

 

Criminalization

 

TAN is against the broad criminalization of HIV non-disclosure. In the overwhelming majority of cases, applying criminal law to HIV non-disclosure creates harm. Rather than introducing laws criminalizing HIV non-disclosure we need to change laws and policies that stand in the way of effective HIV prevention and treatment. Applying criminal law to HIV non-disclosure does nothing to prevent the spread of HIV or to to address the economic, social, and political marginalization of the communities we support. Instead, it adds to the stigma and precarity that already underscore the reality of those living with HIV/AIDS and goes against the core mission and values of our organization.

 

Disclosure of Health Status

 

TAN recognizes that the ongoing criminalization of HIV non-disclosure presents a considerable risk for the precarious and stigmatized communities we serve every day. This is especially important when it comes to how individuals disclose their health status to staff and volunteers at TAN. There are staff and organizational confidentiality policies in place to ensure that everyone has the right to reveal their health status to whomever they wish and on their own terms. We provide our staff with assistance to inform and enable our clients and volunteers to make such disclosures. TAN will not condone staff, volunteers, or clients disclosing anyone’s health status and will take action to review any such incidents and to take measures to prevent any recurrence.

 

Greater and Meaningful Involvement of People living with HIV/AIDS (GIPA/MIPA)

 

TAN is committed to helping people living with HIV/AIDS and their allies in our community in the following ways:

 

  • We are committed to Greater and Meaningful Involvement of People living with HIV/AIDS (GIPA/MIPA); GIPA/MIPA puts people living with HIV/AIDS at the centre and is grounded in human rights and the dignity of the full human being. We are committed to personal and social transformation.

 

  • We aim to transform all who live with, work in, and are affected by HIV/AIDS in Ontario.

 

  • We value community expertise in embracing the challenge for the betterment of society, inclusion over exclusion, a quest for integrity at all times, and the embodiment of self- determination.

 

  • We promote the evolution of thought, action and collaboration among us and with our allies.

 

Because GIPA/MIPA is about human struggles and aspirations. Ethics, empowerment, and accountability are its foundation.

 

We acknowledge that GIPA is never achieved once and for all. It is a goal and commitment that must be continually renewed. GIPA is a practice, not a project, and is similar to all other accountabilities of healthy HIV organizing and service delivery. Our practices in AIDS Service Organizations (ASOs) must be continually re-evaluated in light of the changing realities of HIV/AIDS and of those living with it.

 

In July 2011, TAN endorsed and signed on to the Ontario Accord.

 

Harm Reduction

 

TAN’s policy on harm reduction aims to reduce drug-related harm experienced by individuals and communities, without necessarily reducing the consumption of drugs.

 

TAN recognizes that harm reduction is also part of a broader social justice and human rights movement that focuses on law and policy reform, raising awareness, and promoting respect.

 

TAN’s approach:

 

  • addresses the conditions of use along with the use itself and facilitates meeting people where they’re at as experts in their own lives;

 

  • weaves evidence-based practice with harm reduction and a focus on the broad determinants of health; and

 

  • helps clients avoid sharing needles and equipment to prevent blood borne infections such as HIV and hepatitis infections.

 

Our current programs include:

 

  • Needle and Syringe Program

 

  • The Van Program

 

  • Community Points Program

 

For more information about our programs please visit our website at http://www.aidsnetwork.ca.

 

People living with HIV on Antiretroviral Therapy (ART)

 

In April 2017, TAN endorsed the Prevention Access Campaign’s (PAC) Consensus Statement and signed on to the campaign as a Community Partner.

 

Links:  PAC Consensus Statement https://www.preventionaccess.org/consensus PAC Community Partners https://www.preventionaccess.org/community