Winter has finally arrived, but that has not stopped ACAS and QAY from becoming even more involved in the community. Aside from fun programming hosted by the Women’s and Youth Programs, our staff members have we busy presenting various research conferences this past month. To top off the excitement, ACAS has also been mentioned in several media publications this month!
ACAS goes international at ICAPP 2013!
As the only AIDS service organization serving the East and Southeast Asian population infected and affected by HIV/AIDS in Canada, ACAS presented our innovative approach to online outreach to the gay, bi and MSM population and our community-based research findings on migrant workers and sexual health at the 11th International Congress on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific (ICAPP 2013) in Thailand. Our executive director, Noulmook Sutdhibhasilp, and staff members Daniel Le and Heywon Kim had a great time learning about the various wonderful HIV initiatives taking place across the Asia Pacific and exchanging knowledge on best practices with our Asian counterparts at the conference.
The BC Gay Men’s Health Summit 2013 & the OHTN Research Conference 2013
The ACAS Asian MSM Pathways to Resiliency (AMP2R) Study team have been busy sharing their preliminary findings on the strengths and resiliency strategies of Asian gay/bi men and MSMs in research conferences across the nation this path month. Principle investigator Dr. Alan Li and Research Coordinator Christian Hui presented an interactive workshop on “Creating pathways of resiliencies amongst Asian & ethno-racial MSM communities” at the BC Gay Men’s Health Summit 2013 in Vancouver, BC on November 7-8, 2013. Two weeks later, Dr. Li and Christian Hui gave an oral presentation entitled “From crisis to rebirth – Exploring resiliency response of Asian MSM in dealing with testing HIV positive” at the Ontario HIV Treatment Network Research Conference 2013 in Toronto held between November 17 to 19, 2013.
Support Program Health Promotion Workshop
On November 21, 2013, the Support Program held its last health promotion workshop for the year. The event focused on HIV Update Treatment and Prevention and was attended by over 37 attendees. We would like to thank Dr. Aneeta Lal, Pharmacist at Toronto General Hospital’s Immunodeficiency Clinic for the wonderful presentation. During the workshop, the Support Program team recognized the work and contribution of our past presenters and therapeutic care team in providing holistic health information and care to our service users. We would like to especially thank Moss Park Pharmacy, Trillium College, Agnes Tong, Teruma Ikeda and Christian Hui for their support.
The Women’s Program held two exciting workshops this past month. The first one being the “Health Communication” Workshop to help promote assertiveness to Japanese speaking women on how to negotiate safer sex and healthy sexuality practices. The second workshop was the intimate “Tea Ceremony” social where attendees learnt about the ancient art of tea preparation and tasting.
Our youth program, Queer Asian Youth, held a Queer English Lounge this past month where newcomer Asian youths of various gender identities and sexual orientations can meet others in a safe space, learn and practice English with one another, and to get an opportunity to learn more about Toronto’s queer community.
Origami Features Queer Asian Youth
This month, Queer Asian Youth was featured in the premiere issue of the Origami, an online magazine aimed at sharing stories that shape the lives of Asian Canadians in Toronto. The feature “Gay Asian youth still struggling for acceptance” takes a critical look at the various systemic and cultural oppressions they must face to find their place within the broader society.
For this year’s World AIDS Day event, ACAS planned an awareness outreach event entitled #LOVEandFORTUNE13 where staff and volunteers wearing red ribbon sashes outreached at the Finch, Sheppard and Wellesley TTC stations on November 28, 2013. Commuters were greeted with our lively crowd and specially made ACAS World AIDS Day fortune cookies for our outreach fundraising drive. Check out this video and see how much fun our volunteers and staff had:
The GridTO Feature: The Second Coming of AIDS
To commemorate this year’s World AIDS Day, the GridTO has written a great piece on the Second Coming of HIV and has interviewed long-time activist Tim McCaskell of AIDS Action Now as well as our very own Community Engagement Worker and Research Project Coordinator Christian Hui on the changing landscape of HIV/AIDS more than 30 years since the discovery of the virus. You can read the full story here: http://www.thegridto.com/city/sexuality/the-second-coming-of-aids/
You can follow Christian on Twitter: @chui108