Thanks to MAC AIDS Fund generosity, over 120 women living with HIV/AIDS from Vancouver and outlying regions will have the opportunity this year to build the kind of community that can make lifelong changes possible. Every month, BC Women’s Oak Tree Clinic coordinates four different Peer Support Groups for HIV+ women – these groups are run by trained, experienced peer facilitators. For many women, the Peer Support Groups are the only opportunity they have to connect with other women who are HIV positive.
This year, MAC AIDS funding will enhance the Peer Support Groups with community building initiatives like wellness events and group art therapy projects. Research indicates that HIV+ individuals who feel connected to and involved in community enjoy a multitude of personal benefits, including reduced stigma, increased personal positive action plans, and increased access to other services. The connections that women in the Peer Support Groups make with their peers and the knowledge they gain will support them to maintain positive changes and healthy habits in their day-to-day lives.
Since 2011, the Peer Support Groups funded by MAC AIDS Fund have given HIV+ women in BC a safe space to gather, learn, connect and gain skills and confidence. This most recent $35,000 gift to the program means that HIV+ women will continue to get the support they need from peers who understand the challenges they face.
Thank you MAC AIDS for strengthening peer support for HIV+ women in BC!
BC Women’s Oak Tree Program has been a global pioneer in the provision of HIV care, research and education for women, infants and youth living with or impacted by HIV/AIDS, since 1994. This specialized clinic cares for all known HIV+ pregnant women and their infants in the province of BC, for 50% of all known HIV+ women, and all known HIV+ infants and children. Led by a team of internationally renowned experts, over 700 patients receive care annually from a multidisciplinary team of experts, including doctors, nurses, dieticians, outreach workers, pharmacists, social workers and counsellors.