From Quarantine to Criminalization: Public health responses to HIV and our history of activist interventions

Presented by the AIDS Activist History Project and AIDS ACTION NOW!, please join us for a special night titled From Quarantine to Criminalization: Public health responses to HIV and our history of early activist interventions.

The purpose of this event is to capture, document and share a collective history of activist interventions to push back against public health interventions in the early days of HIV activism in Toronto and Ontario at large. There will also be space to talk about strategies moving forward and how to learn from these experiences for the future.

Together are going to be talking critically and openly about the successes and failures of Ontario’s activism of public health interventions for people living with HIV in a historical context and its implications.

To start the conversation Joan Anderson, Glen Brown and guests will share their personal stories of their own interventions and involvement highlighting the successes and failures of the late eighties and early nineties. They will speak about exciting times such as:

“…fighting for the establishment and expansion of anonymous testing; fighting for the end of mandatory reporting; fighting for the end of mandatory contact tracing; fighting for reduced arbitrary section 22 orders to restrain “risk” behaviour by PHAs; fighting for the end of linkage between STI results and prior HIV tests; fighting against the reclassification of HIV to a “virulent” disease, which would have expanded Public Health’s powers to quarantine “misbehaving” PHAs, and trying to get the Health Minister fired!…”

Then we will move forward to talk about how this impacted the present and how to make use of this history for the future.

As there were many other individuals and communities that were also doing their own organizing we encourage others to be a part of this historical documentation as well. Please note that this is a community conversation and will be run as an open forum so that together we can take advantage of a collective knowledge sharing and learning experience.

If you were involved in early activism and/or have stories and insight to share or if you want to come listen to our community activist history then please join us (and bring your friends).

Friday, February 7th
519 Church Street Community Centre
7 - 9pm
Space is limited.

The panel will be video recorded and used for future publication but no individuals will be in the documentation without their full informed consent.

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Can’t Be Silenced, Won’t Be Stopped - AAN! for Global LGBT Equality

Can't Be Silence, Won't Be Stopped

Join AAN! and other community groups as on the eve of the Sochi Olympics as we demand human rights across the globe.

Those interested in forming an AAN! contingent or going together are invited to e-mail Jordan Bond at to coordinate. Otherwise, simply show up, bring your fabulous selves, and get ready to make noise.

When : Thursday February 6th at 6:00 PM

Where : Russian Consulate, southeast corner of Bloor/Church

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In honour of the Day With(out) Art 2013, AIDS ACTION NOW! is launching 6 new collaborative activist art works as part of the POSTERVIRUS project.

The posters were developed collectively with artists and activists working to respond to HIV. They will be plastered across the streets Toronto during the month of November. The posters will simultaneously be launched on-line through our Facebook and Tumblr pages.

Come celebrate the launch with AIDS ACTION NOW! along with the artists, speakers and awesome performers.

DJs Peas&Carrots and others TBA

Artists talks will start at 9:30pm

Dance party and performances will start at 11:00pm

All funds raised and a percentage of the bar sales will go towards AIDS ACTION NOW!

Day Without Art (DWA) began on December 1st 1989 as the national day of action and mourning in response to the AIDS crisis. Starting in 1997, Visual AIDS added the parentheses to highlight the proactive programming of art projects by artists living with HIV/AIDS, and art about AIDS, that were taking place around the world.

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Calling all Gay, Bi, and Trans Men who have SEX with other Men

Think HIV Criminalization is stigmatizing and unjust? Have something to say about it?  We want to hear about it!

With our Think Twice Campaign we are looking for men who have sex with other men to tell their stories and thoughts that challenge the current push towards criminalization of people living with HIV.

  • Have you thought about pressing charges but didn’t?
  • Fucked someone and thought about the shared responsibility?
  • Have you charged someone and wished that you had not done it?
  • Were you charged and want to share your experience?
    Has your friend been charged and you want to speak out?

We will be having a community meeting on Sunday, November 3rd at the 519 from 2-4pm

If you would like to register or find out more about the Think Twice Campaign please contact: Jessica Whitbread at or check out our website or facebook page. Download our flyer here!

We will be making an online video campaign with a range of individuals aimed to get people to consider the complexity and uncertainty of HIV criminalization, and the implications for gay, bi and trans male communities. If you identify as a man who fucks other men and want to be involved, we are looking for individuals to be featured in the online video campaign and for technical support in filming and production of the videos themselves.

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The Conservative Party of Canada is bad for our health!

The Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) continues to use scare tactics and NIMBY-ism (Not In My Back Yard) to campaign against life-saving, evidence-based health services for people who use drugs. Yesterday the party circulated an email and petition to their supporters stating: “Keep heroin out of our backyards: Add your name if you demand a say before a supervised drug consumption site is opened close to your family”. This follows the launch of the Minster of Health Leona Aglukkaq’s Bill C-65 known as the “Respect for Communities Act” which is aimed at creating massive barriers to stop the opening of new supervised consumption services in Canada. Despite the CPC’s moralistic fear mongering, all evidence states that health programs where people can go for clean drug equipment and to use drugs safely under supervision from healthcare professionals result in reduced crime, saved lives, and improved communities.

Following yesterday’s announcement, there was been wide spread outcry among medical and legal experts across Canada damning Bill C-65, the Minster of Health and the CPC’s actions to counter the health and rights of people who use drugs.

The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) issued a press release stating that the “CMA fully endorses the existence of these harm-reduction tools, including supervised injection sites, and believes they should be included in a comprehensive national drug strategy”.

Earlier today the Canadian Association of Nurses in AIDS Care Board Chair, Scott Harrison stated: “we have ample evidence from business owners, community members and residents that a safe injection site is acceptable, warranted and is having a positive impact on the health of the community”.

Yesterday, in a joint release from the Pivot Legal Society, the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network and the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition responding to the Minster of Health’s actions, the organizations stated it is “unethical, unconstitutional and damaging to both public health and the public purse to block access to supervised consumption services which save lives and prevent the spread of infections.”

Additionally, the Globe and Mail editorial pages accused the CPC of continuing to embrace an outdated War On Drugs mentality.

All of this follows the Supreme Court of Canada’s 2011 decision where they ruled Conservative Minster of Health Leona Aglukkaq had violated the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms by trying to shut down Vancouver’s supervised consumption service Insite.

It is widely known that supervised consumption services promote the health and well-being of our communities, while the CPC and the Minster of Health’s policies are deadly and harmful. The Conservatives are bad for our health!

Support the campaign to open supervised consumption services in Toronto and Ottawa!



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