• Main Office: 511 Pelissier Street, Windsor, ON N9A 4L2 | Satellite Office: 67 Adelaide Street South Chatham, Ontario N7M 4R1
  • 1-800-265-4858

Resources

Welcome Service Providers

The following resources for Service Providers in Windsor-Essex & Chatham-Kent can aid in the provision of service delivery to populations most at risk of or living with HIV & hepatitis c.

Education

Educating you, the Service Provider is key to reducing the stigma and discrimination that individuals living with or affected by HIV face in our communities.

Education & Outreach Services: A Guide for Service Providers

The guide will allow you to become familiar with our three population specific strategies discuss the importance of your role in enhancing the work we do and provides you with a detailed list of presentations and/or workshops that can be delivered by our team to you, as well as to service users at your organizations.

CATIE

Canada’s online source for the most up to date HIV and hepatitis C information. Brochures for resource distribution are free to order from the CATIE ordering centre.

Opioids Toolkit

Health Canada opioid resources as part of an opioids toolkit

Hello Ontario

Check out the new resource, HelloOntario.info, which was created for people who are new to Ontario and who have been diagnosed with HIV or are at risk of acquiring it. Comprising a website and pocket guide, the resource provides newcomers with information to help them access HIV prevention, testing, care and support services. It includes important information about the status of HIV in Ontario, how HIV may (or may not) impact their application to live in Canada, settlement & legal services, health care services and medication access, social programs and services, and more. Both the website and the accompanying pocket guide are available in English and French.

Frequently Asked Questions

The following are the most frequently asked questions of our staff by service providers.

How many people are living with HIV in Windsor-Essex and Chatham-Kent?

We know that there are at least 350 people living with HIV/AIDS (PHAs) in Windsor-Essex and Chatham-Kent, since these individuals receive primary care from the Windsor Regional Hospital HIV Care Program. 116 PHAs also seek support from ACW. However, provincial estimates report that 21% of PHAs do not know they are infected, and only 52-60% are linked to care. This brings the estimated number of PHAs to just over 710 (2012 estimate).

Where can I refer a service user to get tested for HIV?

For a list of HIV testing sites in Windsor-Essex and Chatham-Kent visit the Testing Locations section of the site. The locations listed are just a few of the many places in Windsor-Essex and Chatham-Kent where someone can receive a free HIV test. You can also encourage your service users to speak with their health care practitioner, or go to the closest medical clinic in their community.

What services does the AIDS Committee of Windsor offer?

The AIDS Committee of Windsor provides support, education and outreach services for people at risk of, or living with HIV or AIDS. Our services span the Windsor-Essex and Chatham-Kent counties through two offices located in downtown Windsor and downtown Chatham respectively. For complete details about all of our programs and services visit the Programs’ section of our site.

Does your agency provide clinical services to HIV positive individuals?

While we do not provide clinical services, we do provide a wide array of support services to assist HIV positive people who are newly diagnosed or those that have been living with the virus for some time in achieving optimal health and well-being. Some of these services include, but are not limited to, client accompaniment, home and hospital visits, advocacy and wellness calls. For a full list of services visit the PHA Client Support Services section of our site.

Do you know of a doctor or list of doctors that I can refer an HIV positive service user to?

The AIDS Committee of Windsor has an established relationship with the Windsor Regional Hospital HIV Care Program. Some of the doctors and staff at the HIV Care Program have been assisting HIV positive service users with their medical needs for over 25 years. The privacy and well-being of each service user is of outmost priority. To contact the HIV Care Program, call (519) 254-6115.

If the services provided by the HIV Care Program do not meet the needs of an HIV positive service user you are assisting, contact our PHA Client Support Services to speak with a staff member regarding their specific needs.    

If a client discloses their HIV positive status to me, is it okay if I discuss it with a co-worker or supervisor?

There is currently no legislation or case law obligating HIV positive people to disclose their status to service providers including their doctors, nurses, dentists, surgeons, paramedics or any other health-care professionals. Whether or not a person decides to disclose their HIV status is a personal choice. Disclosing one’s HIV status can be very difficult. If someone chooses to disclose their HIV status to you, it’s important that you treat this information with the utmost privacy. It’s always best practice to obtain consent from an individual before sharing any personal information including their HIV status.

Health-care professionals: Generally, health-care professionals do not require a service users’ express consent (i.e., either stated verbally or in writing) to disclose their health information to other health-care professionals for the purpose of providing or assisting in providing care. This practice is called sharing information within the “circle of care.” In many provinces, consent will be considered implied in such circumstances, meaning you won’t have to ask for consent.1

1 Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, (2014). “Living with HIV, Know Your Rights. Disclosure as a patient.

What’s a needle syringe program?

Needle syringe programs (NSP), or needle exchange programs (NEP) are community based programs rooted in the harm reduction philosophy aimed at reducing the risk factors surrounding injection drug use and the spread of communicable viruses such as HIV and Hepatitis C. Needle syringe programs distribute unused needles and associated paraphernalia at no cost to service users. For more information about the ACW’s needle syringe program check out the Harm Reduction section of the site.

What does harm reduction mean?

Harm reduction is a range of practical strategies and ideas focused on reducing the harmful consequences associated with drug use and other risky health behaviours. The principle of harm reduction is grounded in social justice and emphasizes respecting the rights of an individual to choose while addressing the inequalities of health and well-being in the drug using community.

Harm reduction strategies, surrounding drug use, recognizes that abstaining from drugs may not be realistic or even desirable for everyone. Harm reduction strategies are community-based, user-driven, non-judgemental and address systems that isolate and marginalize individuals.

The Key Issues Related to Harm Reduction and Drug Misuse Include:

– Improving access to services by providing sterile, single-use supplies

– Educating individuals about safer drug use practices to reduce risky behaviour

– Reducing the risk of overdose through distribution of prevention kits

– Preventing transmission of blood borne viruses and pathogens between individuals i.e. HIV, Hepatitis C and B and various sexually transmitted infections        

This content was sourced from the Ontario Harm Reduction Distribution Program website. For complete details regarding harm reduction programs in Ontario visit www.ohrdp.ca.

Which populations are most impacted by HIV?

In Ontario, the HIV epidemic disproportionately affects specific populations. Populations that are more vulnerable to HIV infection include: gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM); African, Caribbean, and Black (ACB) Ontarians; Aboriginal Peoples; people who use injection drugs (PUD); and women who are either members of high-risk populations or engage in HIV risk activities with them. Other groups that have a greater vulnerability include: people who use drugs through means other than injecting, transwomen and transmen, people who are incarcerated, youth, and aging populations.

A Provincial Approach

Affiliated provincial initiatives and organizations working on addressing the social determinants of health and achieving better health outcomes for populations most at risk of or living with HIV and Hepatitis C.

Southwestern Ontario AIDS Service Organization Alliance

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