Archive for Blog

Media Release-3rd National Day of Action for Refugee Care in Canada


The AIDS Committee of Ottawa fully supports the 3rd National Day of Action for Refugee Care in Canada

June 16th, 2014, Ottawa, ON

On April 25th, 2012, the federal government announced massive changes to the Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP), which provides health insurance for refugees in Canada. Immediately after the decision was announced, doctors for refugee care and health/social workers joined together in solidarity to protest the cuts, which would leave an already vulnerable and marginalized population without access to essential health care. Following mounting public pressure from various community groups and allies, government-assisted refugees were exempted from the cuts. For all other refugees, the cuts came into effect on June 30th, 2012.

The aforementioned cuts deny refugees equitable access to essential health care, such as dental and vision care and medications, to mention a few. These cuts are a barrier in the work that the AIDS Committee of Ottawa does in providing education/awareness, support and outreach to refugees living with and at risk of HIV/AIDS in Ottawa and across the country.

A third National Day of Action will take place in Ottawa on June 16th at noon on Parliament Hill. Please join the AIDS Committee of Ottawa, its community members, partners and allies as we rally together to protest the cuts and stand in solidarity as we advocate for equitable access to essential health care for refugees in Canada.

The AIDS Committee of Ottawa encourages you to share your concerns over the cuts to refugee health care with your local MP. Contact information for all MPs can be found at:

For more information about the AIDS Committee of Ottawa, please visit us at

For media inquiries, please contact:

Khaled Salam, Executive Director, (613) 238-5014 ext. 234 or

Posted in: Blog

Leave a Comment (0) →

Media Release ACO Sex Work June 2014

PRESS RELEASE ACO SEX WORK June 2014 (pdf version)



The AIDS Committee of Ottawa is disheartened by the direction taken by the Government as they table their bill on prostitution and recriminalize sex work

June 5th 2014, Ottawa, ON—

In light of last December’s unanimous Supreme Court ruling recognizing that the criminal laws that prohibit aspects of prostitution increase harm, of the decades of research and government reports supporting the Bedford decision and, more recently, of the publication of a new study in the prestigious British Medical Journal (BMJ) Open demonstrating the devastating impact the Swedish Model of asymmetrical criminalization has on sex workers, the AIDS Committee of Ottawa is disheartened by the new bill tabled by the Government yesterday.

Evidence unequivocally demonstrates that the criminalization of sex work, full or asymmetrical, and the accompanying lack of respect for sex workers’ human rights forces sex workers to work in circumstances that diminish their control over their working conditions and leaves them without the protective benefit of labour and health standards. In contrast, the decriminalization of sex work, achieved in New Zealand in 2003, has been associated with better and improved health both on an individual and on a community level.

The Global Commission on HIV/AIDS and the Law points out that legal environments that deny human rights to security provide fertile ground for the HIV/AIDS epidemic. The draft legislation proposes a model that criminalizes the purchase of sexual services, the advertisement of sexual services, and communication in public for the purpose of prostitution by anyone, and it effectively prohibits indoor sex work. Far from protecting vulnerable individuals, this approach reproduces the harms of our former prostitution laws which were struck down for violating sex workers’ constitutional right to security. Instead, recognizing the public health and safety benefits of decriminalizing both the selling and the purchase of sexual services, the World Health Organization and UNAIDS both recommend decriminalizing sex work.

We had high hopes that following the Bedford decision, our Government would ensure that new legislation for prostitution would be evidence based and prioritize the health and well-being of sex workers. The AIDS Committee is deeply disappointed that the new bill tabled yesterday falls short of that.

A summary and the BMJ Open publication is available here:

A summary and the constitutional analysis of the research is available here:

For more information or to book interviews:

Khaled Salam, Executive Director 613-238-5014 ext. 234 or

Posted in: Blog

Leave a Comment (0) →

Women’s Outreach Worker Posting

Position Title: Women’s Outreach Coordinator

Position Type: Full time (35 hours a week)

Job Region: Ottawa

Application Deadline:  4:00 p.m., Friday, May 23, 2014


Since 1985, the AIDS Committee of Ottawa (ACO) has worked to empower people living with HIV/AIDS and the PHA (persons with HIV/AIDS) community in Ottawa by promoting the well-being and quality of life of those living with or closely affected by HIV/AIDS.

The successful candidate for this position will bring to the job: a sex positive approach to HIV prevention; experience in social justice issues including working knowledge of the social determinants of health and the impact on those living with and at risk of HIV; an understanding and  respect for the diversity of women; belief and experience working within an anti-racist/anti-oppression framework; a willingness to advocate for women’s holistic health needs at a community and a provincial level; knowledge of working with women in the criminal justice system.


  • Reports directly to the Manager of Education and Prevention, working in collaboration with the Women’s Community Developer and the Education and Prevention team.
  • Ensure that HIV + women are engaged/involved in all aspects of the development and delivery of prevention programs for women in Ottawa.
  • Coordinate health promotion workshops, information sessions and groups for positive women and women at high risk including women in the sex trade, women who use injection drugs, women experiencing mental health and women living in poverty.
    • Coordinate the logistics of Voices for Women’s Health- ACOs annual Women’s Health Forum.
    • Participate in relevant community meetings and community events.
    • Draw on relevant research and EPI data to inform program development, which reduces isolation and supports the health, safety, social needs, self-determination and human rights of women.
    • Provide HIV prevention and harm reduction information, education and resources to women who are incarcerated in the Ottawa area through outreach services at the Ottawa Carleton Detention Centre.
    • Participate in various coalitions in Ottawa to build partnerships that support the expansion and creation of relevant programs and services; reducing barriers to service provisions for women.
    • Participate in community-based research.
  • Implement appropriate evaluation tools to ensure services are relevant and effectively address the needs of women in Ottawa.
  • Commit to continued skills development relevant to the position.
  • Other duties as required.



  • Work experience: minimum of two years working in the field of HIV prevention, health  promotion, criminology or women’s studies.
  • Education:   Diploma or undergraduate degree, or equivalent related experience in social and/or health services.
  • Language:   Fluency in English. Fluency in French and/or other languages is a strong  asset.


Knowledge of:

  • Principles  of harm reduction and positive prevention.
  • Substance  use, including why/how people use, drug culture in Ottawa, and how using relates to HIV.
  • Health  promotion and HIV prevention strategies and interventions for women.
  • Social  determinants of health and the impact on women’s lives.
  • The   impact that criminalization has on women’s lives.
  • Anti-oppression  and anti-racism; the impact of structural and social oppression on access to  services, as well as personal and community health.
  • The  complexities of sexual, cultural, religious, gender and language  identities; understanding of unique considerations when working with  diverse women’s communities.
  • Social   and structural factors that impact health outcomes for women.



  • Self-motivated,   able to set priorities and manage time effectively.
  • Ability  to work independently and in a team environment.
  • Effective  written and oral communication skills.
  • Facilitation  with diverse audiences.
  • Program  management and project evaluation.
  • Ability to work in non-conventional  settings, such as prisons, the street and shelters.
  • Experience  working with volunteers.


Personal Suitability:

  • Sex-positive  and drug-positive attitude.
  • Anti-oppressive  and anti-racist perspectives and understanding.
  • Comfortable discussing all sexual topics  and practices.
  • Willing  to be flexible in working schedule, including some evenings and weekends.
  • Must be  comfortable conducting outreach to women at the Ottawa Carleton Detention Centre.

In your cover letter please discuss please discuss the challenges and opportunities that are relevant when working within an anti-racism anti oppressive framework.

We thank all who apply, however, only candidates who are short listed will be contacted for an interview.

Please submit your cover letter and CV, preferably in electronic (MS Word or PDF) format. The deadline to apply for this position is 4:00 pm, Friday, May 23, 2014


Heather Money

Manager of Education and Prevention

AIDS Committee of Ottawa

251 Bank Street, Suite 700

Ottawa, ON   K2P 1X3

Fax: 613-238-3425

Posted in: Blog

Leave a Comment (0) →

Study on HIV Medication Side Effects

Parlons Effets Secondaires


Nous sommes à la recherche de participants pour prendre part à une étude sur l’expérience des effets secondaires liés aux médicaments contre le VIH. Pour plus d’information sur l’étude en question, veuillez consulter le document ci-joint. Si vous souhaitez participer à l’étude, veuillez nous contacter par courriel, téléphone ou par message texte (texto) :


Marilou Gagnon, Inf., ACRN, PhD et son équipe de recherché


Let's Talk


We are looking for participants to take part in a study about the experience of HIV medication side effects. For more information on this study, please consult the attached document. If you would like to participate in this study, please contact us by e-mail, phone or text message:


Marilou Gagnon, RN, ACRN, PhD and her research team

Link to Poster: HIV Medication Side Effects



Posted in: Blog

Leave a Comment (0) →

Notice of ACO Quarterly Meeting

ACO Quarterly Meeting
May 21, 2014 @ 6pm
The Living Room: 700-251 Bank St.

Attention all ACO members. You are invited to attend the Quarterly Meeting. We will have a sneak peak of the Bylaw policies. Board Members will be present to answer any questions. Drop by and have a coffee or tea and chat with us. All are welcome. Thank you.

L’assemblée triemestrielle des Membres du CSO
Le 21 mai 2014 à 18:00
Au Vivoir du CSO : 251 rue Bank, suite 700

Cher membres nous vous informons la tenue habituelle de notre réunion trimestrielle qui sera lieu. On vas  regardé au prévue des règlements des politiques. Les membres du conseil administrative seront heureux de répondre à toutes vos questions. Café et thé seront disponibles. Vos êtes les bienvenu (e) s. Merci.

Posted in: Blog

Leave a Comment (0) →

Executive Director Announcement



All Participants/Staff/Volunteers/Partners of ACO


Gord Asmus, Chair of ACO’s Board of Directors


 Executive Director position



November 21, 2013

On November 1, 2013 the position of Executive Director was posted internally at the AIDS Committee of Ottawa for one week. On November 11, the Acting Executive Director, Khaled Salam, was interviewed by the Executive Committee of the ACO Board of Directors for the position. On November 13, the ACO Board of Directors unanimously approved a motion to offer the position of Executive Director to Khaled Salam. Both the Executive Committee and the entire Board of ACO Directors appreciate the hard work and all that Khaled has done over the last two years to help ACO become a more stable and welcoming place in his position as Acting Executive Director.

Please join me in wishing Khaled all the best in his new position.

Thank you.

On behalf of the ACO Board of Directors,

Gord Asmus, Board Chair.


Posted in: Blog

Leave a Comment (0) →

ACO Move – Update



All Participants/ Volunteers/Partners of ACO


Khaled Salam, Acting Executive Director


ACO Office Move


October 15, 2013

Due to unforeseen circumstances, I regret to inform you that the AIDS Committee of Ottawa will not be moving to 240 Bank St.  The Landlord for the property has taken a stance that due to the nature of business that ACO conducts, they will not allow us to make renovations to the space that is needed for essential service/program delivery to our participants, i.e. kitchen facilities, laundry facilities, harm reduction etc. The AIDS Committee of Ottawa is committed to providing an office space to all our stakeholders that allows for optimal program and service delivery. We are in the process of exploring alternative options to follow through on our commitment as expeditiously as possible. We have met with the landlords in our current space, and they have informed us that we can continue occupying this space for as long as we need. Therefore, it will remain business as usual in our current space, as we are exploring different options. We will provide you with more information as it becomes available. In the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any further questions/concerns. Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding in this matter. Sincerely, Khaled Salam Acting Executive Director AIDS Committee of Ottawa (613) 238-5014 ext. 234

Posted in: Blog

Leave a Comment (0) →

2013 Scotiabank AIDS Walk for Life and Ruby Ribbon Run

Saturday, September 14th

Walk or run in support of the AIDS Committee of Ottawa! All of your contributions stay within your community and go directly to improving the lives of people living with and affected by HIV.

–        New this year is the Ruby Ribbon Run! Join us for a 1k Family Fun Run or a 5k or 10k timed run, sponsored by the Running Room. Registration begins at 3:30, run at 5:30.

–        Check out our Community Fair, between 3:30pm and 7pm, and get to know some of the agencies that benefit from the Walk, as well as other valued community members

–        Walk with us! Check in and pledge-drop off begins at 4:30pm, with the Walk beginning at 6:40pm

For more information, to register to fundraise, or to make a contribution, please visit

Posted in: Blog

Leave a Comment (0) →
Page 4 of 5 12345