While everyone at ACAS is busy gearing up for Asian Heritage Month in May, we would like to give you a recap of the exciting events we had held in April.
Representing the Asian MSM Pathways to Resiliency (AMP2R) Community-based Research of the Men’s Program, Richard Utama, Men’s Sexual Health Coordinator, attended the 22nd  Canadian Association for HIV/AIDS Research in Vancouver, B.C., along with Principal Investigator Dr. Alan Li, and Community Engagement Worker, Christian Hui, on April 11 to April 14, 2013.  Richard and Alan made a successful oral presentation on “Migration as a critical life transition and resiliency strategy among Asian MSM in Toronto,” while Christian had a poster presentation entitled “Negotiating safety, access, disclosure and self care: resiliency pathways of Asian MSM PHAs.” Our executive director, Noulmoook Sutdhibhasilp, also showcased the poster “What Asian Women in Canada think about HIV/AIDS prevention” as part of the Ontario Women’s Health Study.
ACAS would also like to give a heartfelt thanks to InSite, the supervised injection site in Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, for giving us a tour of the facility and enlighten us how their presence and practices in the Vancouver Eastside neighborhood have helped the catchment at achieving one of the rare public health successes—-HIV transmission rates in the neighborhood actually went down compared to other catchments. Supervised Injection Sites has been shown to work and drive HIV infection rates down, and more supervised injection sites should be built and implemented across the nation as part of a comprehensive HIV strategy.
On March 27, the Women’s Program facilitated a workshop at Nellie’s Women Shelter where most of its service users were Chinese women who have experienced domestic abuse. On April 16, the Women’s Program and the Straight Men’s Locker Room Project collaborated with S.O.S., a Korean student agency, on healthy dating and sexuality for newly arrived Korean and Vietnamese students. The Women’s Program will also be hosting a “Gentle Yoga & Meditation” Workshop led by Grace Ng Litskowski on April 26 at Six Degrees Community Acupuncture Studio.
QAY and the Youth Program definitely had its fair share of excitement in April: First, over 50 people attended the QAY / Raging Asian Women (RAW) Drumming Performance on March 24. The youths then tested their athletic skills at the annual Dodge Ball Tournament on March 30. Lastly, Meza, our beloved Youth Program Coordinator, facilitated a “Race & Dating” workshop at the University of Toronto.
The Support Program had hosted a few events aimed at improving the holistic health of those living with HIV. On April 5, about 30 service users attended the HIV, Aging and Mental Health Workshop with guest speaker Dr. Evan Collins. We would like to thank Janssen Pharmaceutical for their generous sponsorship to make this event possible. Starting April 13, the Support Program and Woodgreen Community Services co-hosted a Tai Chi Pilot Project over four Saturday mornings for service users to learn about this ancient Chinese martial arts practice known to improve one’s circulation and chi.
Romyen, our Asian Migrant Farm Worker Research Coordinator, had attended a community forum to address the health needs of migrant farm workers in Hamilton on March 25. It was a very encouraging event as Romyen was able to network with health service providers who are willing to provide health services to this marginalized population, including those who are undocumented workers. As for the Asian Migrant Farm Worker Research, the researchers and coordinator have moved onto the coding process and data analysis phase of the research study.
For the Volunteer Program, ACAS held an Advanced Training on Language Interpretation on March 27 for volunteers who wish to become volunteer interpreters for our service users. As ACAS truly values the dedication of our volunteers, the Volunteer Program conducted two sets of focus groups to assist with the evaluation and continuous improvement of the program. Lastly, Trisha, our fabulous Volunteer Coordinator, will be hosting our new round of Core Skills Volunteer Training at the ACAS office on April 27.
Please vote for our ACAS (Asian Community AIDS Services) Board Chair Andre Goh for the RBC Royal Bank – Canada Top 25 Canadian Immigrant Awards. The voting period for the RBC Royal Bank – Canada Top 25 Canadian Immigrant Awards is now open athttp://canadianimmigrant.ca/canadas-top-25-immigrants/vote until May 13, 2013. On another note, Andre was also recently awarded the the Malaysian Canadian Award by the Canadian Multicultural Council – Asians in Ontario for his outstanding work in diversity and LGBTQ issues. Congrats, Andre!
Have you checked out our new HIV Treatment Information in Asian Languages Website yet? After a year of work, the site is up and running and contains HIV treatment fact sheets in Chinese (simplified and traditional), Vietnamese, and Tagalog. Come check us out at http://treatment.acas.org!
Please check out our exciting line-up of events for Asian Heritage Month in May as we celebrate our Asian roots and cultures!