With the collective effort and contribution of our funding partners, agency partners, volunteers, research team and staff, CAAT continues to use the tools of training, research, service coordination and advocacy to provide innovative and sustainable programs to promote the health and wellbeing of people living with HIV who face access barriers related to their status.
An exciting highlight for CAAT this year is the launch of our “Newcomer Sexual Health Promotion project” funded by the City of Toronto AIDS Prevention Community Investment Program. Our project team includes a part-time coordinator and five highly motivated peer assistants/educators who have done a great job in developing and delivering dynamic and interactive educational workshops to newcomer groups all over Toronto
Another highlight for CAAT this year was our success in getting operational research funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) for our Community HIV/AIDS Advocate Mobilization Project (CHAMP) study:. The CHAMP project will pilot and evaluate 2 capacity building interventions to support the development of community champions to challenge HIV stigma and to advance the HIV prevention/care agenda amongst racialized communities.
In our ongoing role as community mobilizer and advocate, CAAT continues to work closely with community and government partners to advocate for the recognition of newcomer and racialized PHAs as priority populations in the upcoming Provincial and Federal AIDS strategies. In response to the amendments to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, CAAT is also working closely with HALCO and other immigration experts to inform our community of new updates regarding emerging legislation affecting immigrant/refugee PHAs and to identify strategic responses.
Our innovative Legacy PHA mentorship project continues to grow and now hosts over 100 members. The project has generated a number of peer driven initiatives, including an online newsletter by and for the program participants. In addition, we continue to work closely with the Toronto HIV Network’s PHA Capacity Building Committee to support the development of two key initiatives: (1) the PHAlearning.org web portal to promote online access to, and easier self-management of, PHA skill building programs; and (2) ASO Volunteer Training Initiative that brought AIDS service organizations together to explore coordination and collaboration amongst their volunteer training programs.
As we reflect on 30 years of HIV, CAAT will continue to focus on building the strengths and resiliencies of our community to ensure that the next decade of HIV/AIDS is GIPA driven with well-empowered and strong PHAs taking the lead. We are proud of our work and we look forward to working closely with all of you on the many exciting program initiatives to improve the health and leadership of PHAs.
CAAT Program Coordinator