Positive Sex Workshop and Manual
The process of providing workshops to people living with HIV and our allies began in May 2011 with a small fund from the Client Activity Funds at AIDS Community Care Montreal and later funded nationally by the Canadian Treatment Access Council. At that time people living with HIV identified disclosure of HIV to potential sex partners as the single most stressful situation in their daily lives. Disclosure of HIV to sex partners was and remains related to stigma attached to the virus. There was a need to initiate dialogue, provide a space where people living with HIV could discuss the obstacles they met while attempting to disclose, while seeking solutions and making the general public aware of the complexities involved in disclosure of HIV to sex partners. At this time criminalization of HIV was being discussed, with several organizations remaining actively involved in dialogue and actions to de-criminalize non disclosure of HIV.
Several workshops were completed since 2011 and the accompanying manual was put online in April 2014. The manual was meant to be a fluid outline for use by organizations working in the area of HIV and a flexible guide for workshops on disclosure. Since 2011 many other organizations and individuals have contributed to the discourse on disclosure, in one form or another, and it is now a “hot topic” for all people affected by HIV. The workshops continue to provide a space for people to discuss disclosure, to seek solutions, to externalize stigma and to take it a step further to find ways to change public perception of people living with HIV. Positive Sex workshops is
Workshops are provided on a national level to facilitators across Canada and it is emphasized how the workshop and manual are not a ” step by step” guide to successful disclosure, as successful disclosure is in many ways beyond the control of individuals and often dependent upon the reactions of those being disclosed to. Keeping this in mind, while continuing the discussion of HIV disclosure to sex partners, it is expected that the Positive Sex manual will change over time while new projects and workshops derive from this initial attempt to provide a space for people living with HIV to discuss this stressful dilemma.
Canadian Treatment Access Council (CTAC) delivered workshops and the project remained with them until July 2015, when Canadian AIDS Treatment Information Exchange (CATIE) took on the workshops as part of their delivery of services to organizations across Canada. CATIE will continue to offer the workshops regionally as a “train the trainer” model as they move forward and contribute to the much needed discussion of this topic which is not yet resolved. For further information please contact CATIE.