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SUPPORT PROGRAM

//SUPPORT PROGRAM
SUPPORT PROGRAM2018-10-30T19:48:51+00:00

This program is created by and for East and Southeast Asians living with HIV. To support and empower clients to cope and live with HIV. We improve clients’ quality of life by enhancing their knowledge and skills to facilitate self-care and to make positive changes in their lives.

To meet the unique needs of our clients, we collaborate with other ACAS programs and related community partners to deliver holistic and culturally appropriate services in a very confidential and private way. Some past events include educational retreats, seminars over dinner, accompaniment to doctors visits, language support, social gatherings and special projects.

This group is very diverse with all types of backgrounds and ages. To access any services or events we will have you do an intake with one of our Support Team staff who will sit down with you to see how we can help.

Our current support team
Support Program Coordinator
Andrew Miao
support@acas.org; ext 222

Women’s Support Worker
womensupport@acas.org; ext 223

Health Promotion Coordinator
Kenneth Poon
healthpromo@acas.org, ext 231

Services

Here are some of the services* the Support Program offers, to learn more or access any of these please contact the support program for more info.

For East and Southeast Asians living with HIV and their caregivers.

We meet with clients to understand their situation, and help connect them to healthcare, legal, immigration, financial, and housing services. We also help clients navigate these processes and advocate for them when needed. We provide these services in a culturally and linguistically appropriate manner as often many are not familiar with the healthcare or Canadian environment.

We also provide emotional support and peer counselling, and through our Buddy Support service also provide volunteers to help reduce social isolation.

Please speak with any Support workers to access any of our services

Open to All ACAS Support Program clients and their caregivers.

These workshops over a meal, are presented by professionals in the health field to help increase the health literacy and knowledge of our clients. Topics are selected based on the trending needs of the Asian HIV community. Some important topics include HIV treatment information updates, HIV and aging, HIV & mental health, among many others. Through the learning from these workshops, we empower clients to effectively manage and cope with HIV in their daily lives. These workshops are free to attend and provide a much needed social and safe space. Translators are available upon request.

We provide at least 9 health promotion workshops each year. This would not have been possible without the generosity support of ViiV HealthCare, Gilead Science, as well as Moss Park Pharmacy.

We provide monthly free massage and acupuncture sessions to our service users through Oxford Massage program and volunteer acupuncturists. To book an appointment, please contact support workers.

The Support Program organizes several social events every year to bring clients together for fun and social connections. Our signature events are the Pre-Pride Pink BBQ (June), annual retreat (August), as well as other holiday celebrations (End of Year Holiday, Thanksgiving).

We release a special newsletter for the Support Program clients, your names, emails and info is all kept very confidential. The support worker will ask you if you would like to be on it. You will receive infrequent emails about what’s going on at ACAS, as well as ticket giveaways and other opportunities that may interest you! The support newsletter can be found online too at https://acassupport.wordpress.com

ALPHA stands for “Asian Living Proof of HIV Alliance”. It is an informal social group initiated in 2011 by Patrick Truong, a previous ACAS support worker, and is intended for gay Asian men living with HIV/AIDS in GTA, who self-identified as having East and Southeast Asian heritage, and their family/friends.

Currently, ALPHA members gather once every quarter to socialize, have fun, and learn from each other. It is a safe space for peers to share their life experiences and to talk about topics such as relationship, sex, dating, and disclosure. ALPHA group is supported/sponsored by ACAS and Pace Pharmacy.

We offer social events over the year for women to gather and connect over food and explore scenic parts of the city

A group to socialize, exchange experiences, and support each other. This group was created in 2018 to meet the needs of East and Southeast Asian international students and/or youth living with HIV.
*Youth refers to people aged between 16 and 29.

Prior to his passing in 1994, Dr. Kirby Hsu, Co-founder of the Gay Asian AIDS Project and the Asian Community AIDS Services (ACAS) and Vice-President of Support Program made a recommendation to ACAS to designate special fund for ACAS clients. This fund was named in memory of him. Dr. Kirby Hsu’s PHA Fund is to assist East and Southeast Asian clients living with HIV/AIDS on activities that would improve their quality of life and to help lessen the hardship caused by emergency situations. To know more about the criteria and procedure of the PHA fund application, please contact Support workers.

In 2016, we created the PHA Engagement Award to recognize and encourage East and Southeast Asian PHA clients’ volunteerism and contribution to ACAS and the community.

This award is also to recognize two important guiding principles in our program.
– GIPA: Greater Involvement of People Living with HIV/AIDS
– MIPA:Meaningful Involvement of People Living with HIV/AIDS.

We aim to match PHA clients with volunteer activities that are meaningful to them in different parts of the HIV/AIDS and/or LGBTQ+ community. .

If you are interested in seeing how you can be involved, please speak to Support Workers.

ACAS has created a website to meet the needs of East and Southeast Asian living with HIV and their caregivers that serves as a resource for HIV service providers who work with East and Southeast Asian community. In this site, you will find information fact sheets on HIV-drug information, health concerns, monitoring tests, nutrition, women’s health and complementary therapies.
http://treatment.acas.org

This project meaningfully engages Asian PHAs through capacity building activities to strengthen both their individual and collective resilience and develop collective resources to address issues and concerns faced by Asian PHAs. To find out when the next series of workshops is or to participate please contact resilience@acas.org or call us.

The Photovoice Project empowered a group of East and Southeast Asian PHAs (Persons Living with HIV/AIDS) in Toronto with workshops and training over the course of several months to explore their experiences through photos; To capture their truths and realities of life, hope and living with HIV.

The original exhibition was shown in Toronto in 2016 at the 519 to great praise and as well was on display at at the 22nd International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2018) in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

ACAS supports OPA+ (Ontario Positive Asians) a group formed to support and speak for all Asians living in Toronto, more on OPA+ and ACAS support of this group can be found here or by visiting http://ontariopa.wixsite.com/opaplus

 

*services and activities may change or become available/unavailable