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What’s New?

April 25, 2020

 

Regional HIV/AIDS Connection is collecting handmade face masks to be distributed to those we serve through our Carepoint Consumption and Treatment Service. Many of our clients experience challenges, including housing instability, that make social distancing difficult. Face coverings are an additional measure that we are requesting on behalf of our clients to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

We need our community’s help. If you are able to sew or make a non-medical mask, please contact Fran at fmckeown@hivaidsconnection.ca or (519) 239-0802. We will accept donation drop-offs at John Gordon Home (596 Pall Mall Street, London, ON) between 8 AM—5 PM. Please contact Fran if pick-up is required. 

It is recommended that donated masks:

  •  Fit snugly, but comfortably, without causing difficulty breathing
  •  Should include straps or ties to secure the mask over one’s ears
  •  Should include multiple layers of fabric
  •  Should be easy to machine wash and dry without damaging the integrity of the mask

For more information about how to make a face mask, please visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html

 

 

April 24, 2020

 

The past few weeks have proven the importance of community. At RHAC, we know just how powerful our community can be. Thanks to your generous contributions, RHAC has carried on the tradition of A Taste for Life (ATFL) and raised more than $4000 so far!

One of our participating local restaurants has reached out to help keep the ATFL spirit going. On Monday, April 27th, 25% of all orders placed with Plant Matter Kitchen will be donated to RHAC in support of our client programs and services. 

You can still support RHAC's clients in the spirit of A Taste for Life by making an online donation here.

Thank you for your continued support and making a valuable difference in our community!

 

April 24, 2020

Nominate a Volunteer: VKH Awards

Nominations are now open for RHAC's volunteer awards! Regional HIV/AIDS Connection’s Volunteer Awards highlight how volunteers have enhanced the delivery of our mission in the counties we serve. The awards celebrate volunteers who embody our value statement: “The courage to do what is right” and embrace our vision of Voice, Knowledge and Hope while exemplifying our guiding principles.

To nominate a volunteer:

Deadline is May 31.

 

April 22, 2020

 

We’re asking you—our community—for help.

This evening, we would have been coming together for A Taste for Life 2020 in support of those living with HIV/AIDS in our community. In light of COVID-19, we made the decision to cancel A Taste for Life because it was the right thing to do. However, this cancellation means that many of our client services and programs will be lacking thousands of dollars in funding from one of our biggest annual events.

As Canadians come together to help one another, we are asking for your help to continue supporting our clients during this crisis. In lieu of dining out for A Taste for Life this year, we hope our friends and supporters will consider donating to our online fund.

If you plan to order-in food or buy a gift card in the coming weeks, please consider supporting our restaurant partners (See the full list here: www.atasteforlife.org/londonstratford).

We are so thankful to these community partners and business owners and to you, our, supporters. We would also like to recognize all of the amazing support shown over the years from our longstanding sponsor TD Bank Group and most importantly you—our community.

 

March 28, 2020

 

RHAC's next scheduled PrEP Clinic (April 3, 2020) will be provided by phone. After that time, the mode of delivery for our bi-weekly PrEP Clinic (i.e. phone appointments vs. in-person appointments) will be determined based on the most current information available about COVID-19 and municipal, provincial and federal health recommendations. We will be sure to share updates accordingly. Thank you for your ongoing flexibility, understanding and support during this time.

 

March 23, 2020

 

Effective March 23, 2020, calls to RHAC’s main phone lines at (519) 434 1601 or toll-free at 1 (866) 920-1601 will be handled through our automated messaging service. You will be provided with guided instructions for leaving your message on staff extensions. Messages will be checked regularly and responded to as soon as possible. Please note that you will still have the option to leave a message on our general agency mailbox, send emails directly to staff, or email RHAC at info@hivaidsconnection.ca. All other RHAC services remain unchanged from last week's announcement

March 20, 2020
 
"Regional HIV/AIDS Connection remains committed to offering meaningful and effective support and education to those we serve, as we navigate emerging information," says Holly Taylor, RHAC's Manager of HIV/HCV Support Services. "We are pleased to share the following document, published by UNAIDS; a reputable and trusted source for information, about unique considerations surrounding the COVID-19 for people living with HIV."

 

According to UNAIDS, "It’s important to underline that there is currently no strong evidence that people living with HIV are at an especially increased risk of contracting COVID-19 or if they do contract it they will experience a worse outcome. This does not mean that people living with HIV should take COVID-19 lightly and they must take all precautions to protect themselves." (via UNAIDS). 
 
"Like HIV-negative people, HIV-positive may also be at risk for coronavirus-related complications if they are over the age of 65 or have any of the underlying conditions associated with greater risk of illness, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes and kidney injury." (Source: CATIE)

 

To learn more about what you need to know about HIV and COVID-19, visit: https://www.unaids.org/en/20200317_covid19_hiv 
March 19, 2020

 
Please be advised that our reception service at RHAC's 186 King St. location has changed and the main door entrance will be locked.
 
In lieu of dropping into our physical office space, we ask that our community members seeking supports please call ahead at (519) 434-1601 to arrange a time to visit. We want to ensure we are able to meet your needs as staffing levels may change day to day. All requests for on-site service visits will be subject to COVID-19 screening measure prior to access.
 
If the line is busy, please feel free to leave a message and someone will return your call as quickly as possible. If you are calling outside the hours of 9am-5pm, please leave a message or contact us by email at info@hivaidsconnection.ca and someone will follow up within the next business day. In addition, RHAC staff are being supported to work remotely and can be reached via the contact information listed on our Staff Directory: www.hivaidsconnection.ca/contact/staff-directory.
 
Our North Entrance for Counterpoint and Carepoint service users will remain accessible with continued COVID-19 screening measures in place.

It is a difficult decision for RHAC to restrict our front reception services. However, we believe that ensuring the health and safety of staff and community will allow us to continue to make a positive impact during this time. Thank you for your patience and understanding.
 

March 17, 2020

 

To our valued community members,

For 35 years, Regional HIV/AIDS Connection (RHAC) has committed to the health and wellbeing of the people we serve. Our ongoing response to novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is guided by this longstanding principle as we take action to protect the health and safety of service users, staff, volunteers, and community members.

RHAC is implementing the following measures to ensure your safety, as well as the safety of our team, including:

  • On-site and phone screening for COVID-19 symptoms
  • Non-essential service staff will be supported to work remotely
  • Strict adherence to universal precautions and pandemic mitigation hygiene standards
  • Suspension of engagement in all “in person” community/stakeholder meetings
  • RHAC board will use technology to conduct governance business  

The following programming will be impacted as of March 17, until further notice:

  • Couch crew drop in is suspended
  • Social support groups are cancelled
  • A Taste for Life is cancelled
  • LGBTQ Open Closet social support group is cancelled
  • Scheduled Community Partner Outreach and related Drop In Outreach is cancelled
  • (on site) HIV/HCV testing is cancelled
  • Public speaking engagements and education sessions are suspended

The following programs will continue as scheduled:

  • John Gordon Home - 24/7 residential care 
  • Carepoint/Counterpoint - 9:00 am to 9:00 pm
  • Outreach Van (Counterpoint) for people who use substances –door drop off only
  • Country Cupboard – temporary home delivery beginning in April
  • HIV/HCV Client Support Services – using phone as primary source of contact

RHAC will continue to closely monitor this situation and follow the recommendations of Canada’s public health authorities.

Thank you to our community partners, staff, and volunteers for working with us to deliver the best possible care and support. RHAC will post updates to this information each Monday or as needed.

Wishing health and wellness to everyone during this challenging time.

 

Brian Lester,

Executive Director

 

For additional information about COVID-19: 

https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/being-prepared.html

https://www.healthunit.com/news/novel-coronavirus

 

 

 

February 21, 2020

When: Saturday February 1 12:45 – 4 pm

Where: Museum London  421 Ridout Street North

Cultural groups and services present their art, crafts,entertainment, music and delicious food. Special Guest Speaker: Christopher Taylor Professor at theUniversity of Waterloo. He currently teaches in the Department of History and the Arts First program and is anaccomplished author of Flying Fish in the Great White North: The Autonomous Migration of Black Barbadians.

Contact: Museum London 519-661-0333 Leroy: leroy@lusocentre.org 

For more information on events visit: http://www.hivaidsconnection.ca/blackhistorymonth

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