A Positive Mind
for Social Change
The Afro-Canadian Positive Network of BC (ACPNet) is a support organization founded by people of African descent living with and affected by HIV in British Columbia.
Our mission is to provide peer support, health education and advocacy for people of African descent living with and affected by HIV (PLWH), leading to improved health, quality of life and longevity and reduction in the spread of HIV.
We envision a society that treats PLWH with respect, love, dignity and social justice. Our social values include empowerment, education, advocacy, activism. We are experts and a dedicated team of survivors struggling to overcome language barriers, stigmatization, misinformation and to uplift one another in our appropriate cultural way. We establish networks for peer education and collaborative knowledge-sharing in multiple languages (including Swahili, Amharic, Arabic and English).
Active Peer Support
We provide a culturally appropriate, holistic approach to HIV care and prevention, within a home away from home atmosphere. Our family-oriented case management services are tailored to the needs of our members, and include one-to-one HIV education, sister chat and brother chat on treatment, outreach, peer support to navigate the HIV cascade of care, alcohol and drug abuse prevention, advocacy and settlement assistance.
-Founded in November 2009
-Became a society in August 2010
-Registered as a charity in August 2010
ACPNet serves refugees, immigrants and People Living With HIV (PLWH) of African descent in the Lower Mainland of BC. We currently serve 52 PLWH and their families.
We provide a culturally appropriate, holistic approach to HIV care and prevention, within a home away from home atmosphere. Our family-oriented case management services are tailored to the needs of our members, and include:
- One-to-one HIV education, including Sister Chat and Brother Chat on treatment;
- Pre- and post-test counselling;
- Peer support to navigate the healthcare system, with a focus on HIV care, treatment and supports (including accompaniment, translation services and advocacy with healthcare providers);
- Outreach to members and non-members in home and hospital settings, including treatment check-ins and establishment of connections with isolated individuals;
- Advocacy and referrals for immigration and settlement matters, such as housing;
- Accompaniment and orientation to local resources, such as African stores;
- Alcohol and drug abuse prevention;
- Support for mental health challenges;
- Leadership training for peer supporters;
- Preparing and delivering HIV prevention and awareness education in community, academic and healthcare settings (such as for community service providers, health care providers, students and researchers).
Every day is different. However, daily activities often include:
- taking calls from members and potential new members needing support,
- meetings and phone calls to advocate for members on immigration, housing or health-related matters,
- home visits and phone calls to members to check up on treatment,
- visits to clinics or hospitals to advocate for members or to reach out to isolated individuals who may be in need of support,
- preparing and delivering food at home or hospital,
- implementing and/or collaborating on various projects.
Our Executive Director also participates in the work of several local, national and international organizations working on HIV-related issues, as well as community-based academic research projects. This involves attending meetings and conference calls, giving presentations and participation in recruitment and planning for research in the community.
Lower Mainland, BC with current clientele in: