Réseau ACCESS Network is a non-profit, community-based charitable organization, committed to promoting wellness, harm and risk reduction and education. Réseau ACCESS Network supports individuals – and serves the whole community – in a comprehensive / holistic approach to HIV/AIDS, Hep C and related health issues.
“ACCEPTANCE, AFFIRMATION, ASSISTANCE, ADVOCACY AND ACCOUNTABILITY”
As a team working collaboratively and with passion, dedication and creativity:
We ACCEPT every individual regardless of race, colour, creed, religion, ethnic origin, gender, language, physical or mental status, sexual orientation, drug and/or alcohol use, age, gender identity, sexual risk behaviour or level of education.
We do all within our power to AFFIRM in each individual’s unique self-worth.
We provide ASSISTANCE to individuals in an atmosphere of confidentiality.
We ADVOCATE for continuous improvement in support services, education, harm reduction, public awareness, and ongoing public financial support.
We are ACCOUNTABLE to the public, individuals we serve, and our funders and supporters for our programs and services and stewardship of funds.
LIENS – HIV | HEP C – LINKS
Mental Health 1.866.531.2600
Direct Client and Clinical Services
Case management builds on an individual’s strengths and capabilities, and does not focus on one particular issue, but tries to take the whole person into consideration. Our highly trained direct client services team networks with community partners on behalf of clients to assist with access to a continuum of care. Case management services are available to those living with HIV and/or Hepatitis C. Access to case management services is facilitated through a member of the Direct Client Services department.
Supportive Counselling uses a Brief Solution focused client centered approach meant to assist individuals with issues of day to day living. Concerns are dealt with in a supportive and respectful manner. Confidentiality is assured. Supportive Counselling can be offered on a one on one basis or in a support group. Access to supportive counselling services is facilitated through a member of the Direct Client Services department, or the Gay/MSM Education and Sexual Health Coordinator.
For some considering hepatitis treatment, mental health issues can be a major barrier if the proper supports are not available. Timely access to mental health supports can be crucial in addressing some of the side effects that can arise from treatment. Réseau ACCESS Network offers a regular psychiatric clinic as part of its HCV Treatment Program. The clinic is open to those living with Hepatitis C, with priority given to those on treatment or approaching treatment. Access to psychiatric services is facilitated through the HCV Counsellor.
HIV | HEP C | STI Testing
Réseau ACCESS Network believes in the importance of preventive medicine, so we encourage regular health screenings and early treatment. Knowing your HIV or Hepatitis status will get you the help you need and will keep you and your partners healthier.
Testing for HIV, Hepatitis A, B, C, gonorrhea, chlamydia and syphilis as well as a confirmatory Hepatitis C testing is available. We provide a safe confidential space with services that are sex work informed; drug use friendly and free from stigma and discrimination. Access to testing services is facilitated through one of the nurses.
HEP C Treatment and Clinical Services
Hepatitis treatment services are available to those living with Hepatitis C and who meet all criteria necessary for the treatment. The care provided is intended to ensure that a greater number of individuals infected with hepatitis C virus have access to treatment which can help prevent or mitigate serious liver disease such as cirrhosis, liver failure and liver cancer. Access to Hep C treatment and related health care clinical services is facilitated through the HCV Treatment Nurse.
Gay | MSM (men who have sex with men) Supportive & Clinical Services
Stigma and prejudice around issues of sexual orientation still exists within the community and often prevents individuals from disclosing their sexual orientation. The Gay Men’s Sexual Health program seeks to improve the overall health and well-being of both HIV positive and HIV negative gays and MSMs. Supportive counselling, peer group support, referrals and access to primary care, HIV/HCV/STI testing and other health care services is facilitated. Access to the Gay/MSM services and health Clinic is facilitated through the Gay/MSM Education and Sexual Health Coordinator.
Services for People Who Use Injection Drugs
There are a variety of unique challenges and needs faced by people who inject drugs. We strive to provide services to address these needs in a comprehensive, harm reduction based approach. Services are non-judgemental, stigma-free with a focus on reducing the harm from injection drug related activities. Services include: Education; Outreach and Harm Reduction Services; Safe injection/inhalation supplies; ADAT Assessments and referrals to addictions treatment centres; Testing services; HCV Treatment; Referrals for HIV Treatment; Support and counselling; Advocacy and accompaniment.
Outreach services are provided based on needs of targeted populations. Individuals struggling with addiction and/or mental health can often be found on the streets. Trained community partners, peers, volunteers and students, perform street outreach and provide education on the harms caused by drug use, overdose prevention; and distributes harm reduction kits/materials. The Gay/MSM Education and Sexual Health Coordinator provides outreach to the known gay bar, and during Pride events. Staff and peers who provide service to sex workers meet to facilitate transfer of knowledge and support.
Supportive Practical Assistance
Supportive Practical Assistance, in the form of access to Food Pantry, transportation to medical appointments and accessing drug benefits, are available to those living with HIV and/or Hepatitis C. Proof of HIV/HCV status is required. The intake process requires the collection of information to determine eligibility to participate to the Supportive Practical Assistance Program. As a requirement, applicants need to demonstrate an active involvement with their continuum of care by actively participating to the Agency’s programs and other health care services within the community. Access to supportive practical assistance is facilitated through a member of the Direct Client Services Department.
Education and Prevention Services
The expansion and improvement of HIV and Hepatitis C education around the world is critical to preventing the spread of these viruses. Effective education on transmission and prevention helps to decrease the number of new infections and equip individuals to protect themselves from these or other sexually transmitted infections. Education also plays a vital role in reducing stigma and discrimination. Educational presentations to individuals or groups can take place in many different environments and are always specific to a targeted population. Access to educational services is facilitated through a member of the Education, Prevention and Community Resources Department.
Members of the Speaker’s Bureau address issues from a “lived” experience; those who have, or continue to struggle with a particular issue; those who are living with, affected by, or at risk of a particular issue. While working collaboratively with appropriate staff, members receive training on the effective message delivery of these experiences. Members then accompany staff during educational presentations to share their personal experiences. Members of the Speaker’s Bureau are always compensated for their time and expertise. Should you wish to participate as a member, or request the inclusion of a member during a scheduled presentation, access to the Speaker’s Bureau is facilitated through the Manager of Education and Community Development.
Women & HIV | HEP C
Women continue to be one of the fastest growing populations infected with HIV. To assist in the fight against HIV and Hep C, the Women’s HIV Community Development Program works with local community agencies in response to Women’s HIV/AIDS Prevention needs and to improve the quality of services for women living with or affected by HIV/AIDS. Our Sex Work Peer Education Program has been developed in partnership with women in our community who identify as having lived experience in sex work with the following to increase peer leadership and support for people with sex work experience who are living with or at risk of HIV/AIDS, to increase knowledge of HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C among sex workers and lastly to increase access to health and social services for sex workers.
GAY | MSM (MEN who have SEX with MEN) Educational Services
Stigma and prejudice around issues of sexual orientation still exists within the community and often prevents individuals from disclosing their sexual orientation. The Gay Men’s Sexual Health program seeks to improve the overall health and well-being of both HIV positive and HIV negative gays and MSMs. Educational services is offered to gay/msm men through bar and mobile outreach and in-office outreach. Educational information includes safer sex, poz prevention, testing and treatment.
Opening Doors Conference – Northeastern Ontario Initiative
Opening Doors is an HIV counselling-based initiative held annually across North-Eastern Ontario. The conference emphasises strong commitment to enhancing the quality of counselling and to meet the needs of the North-Eastern Ontario communities. The goal of the conference is to improve local community capacity to provide effective counselling and support to people living with and/or affected by HIV, promote meaningful partnerships between service providers, people living with HIV and other community members and lastly to promote anti-oppression and social determinants of health approaches to HIV/AIDS related support and counselling.
Réseau ACCESS Network facilitates Community Development in an effort to engage agencies, create and strengthen partnerships, provide opportunities for education and awareness, all in an effort to decrease the rates of new HIV and Hepatitis C infections, reduce stigma for those living with HIV/Hepatitis C and support their access to care and treatment. By recognizing the social determinants of health and the needs of those we serve, Réseau ACCESS Network fosters an environment that helps the community respond to these goals, bringing about change and mobilizing people in communities.