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Community-based AIDS organizations working in small cities and rural and remote settings face unique issues when providing prevention programs and services for people who use drugs. Unlike large cities with complex public health responses, AIDS service organizations in rural settings are often the sole provider of prevention services for people who use drugs. In 2010, the Canadian AIDS Society (CAS) conducted a needs assessment of its member organizations and identified a number of issues regarding their ability to provide services to people who use drugs including exploring best or promising practices, organizational capacity to deal with mental health issues, access to safe inhalation programs, hours of operation, and engaging with people who use drugs (http://www.cdnaids.ca/enhancing-capacity). CAS also identified a need for enhanced sharing of program ideas and service delivery plans, particularly in rural and remote areas (http://www.cdnaids.ca/learningfromeachotherenhancingcommu).
CAS has received funding from the MAC AIDS Fund to provide supportive coordination to facilitate the exchange of best or promising practices and other relevant knowledge as well as networking opportunities through a capacity building satellite symposium at a national conference and through ongoing webinars. Emphasis will be placed on peer-based programs and other public health interventions that have proven to work with people who use drugs.
A Working Group is being established to guide the project and ensure that the program for the symposium and the content of the webinars are relevant and useful to staff, volunteers and peers who work with people who use drugs in rural and remote settings. The project will be completed by June 30, 2013.
The objective of the project is to enhance the capacity of community-based organizations in rural and remote settings to plan and deliver programs and services to address HIV/AIDS and reduce harms associated with drug use by facilitating the identification and sharing of best and promising practices in service delivery and support. The activities of the project are:
The role of the Working Group is to:
Please send a letter or email to Lynne Belle-Isle at firstname.lastname@example.org, by September 7, 2012, with your name, a description of how you are currently working with people who use drugs in a rural or remote setting, why you wish to be participate in this Working Group, what skills and interest you would bring to assist with this project, and what you will get out of being part of this Working Group. If there is a lot of interest in this Working Group, a selection process will take place to ensure regional representation and inclusion of people who use drugs. If you have any questions, please contact Lynne by email or by telephone at 1.800.499.1986 ext. 114.
CAS is a strong supporter of the greater, meaningful involvement of people who use drugs and adheres to the “Nothing About Us Without Us” principle. We encourage people who use drugs to submit their nomination. CAS also adheres to the Greater Involvement of People Living with HIV/AIDS (GIPA) principle and encourages nominations from people living with HIV/AIDS.
Registered as a charity since 1986, the Canadian AIDS Society (CAS) is a national coalition of over 120 community-based AIDS organizations across Canada. We are dedicated to strengthening the response to HIV/AIDS across all sectors of society, and to enriching the lives of people and communities living with HIV/AIDS.
Call for Participation - Rural Harm Reduction Working Group. © Canadian AIDS Society. Published 08/10/2012. Updated 08/10/2012. Web. Retrieved 05/24/2013 from http://www.cdnaids.ca/call-for-participation-rural-harm-reduction-working-group