AIDS New Brunswick is a provincial organization committed to facilitating community-based responses to the issues of HIV/AIDS. The aim is to promote and support the health and well-being of persons living with and affected by HIV/AIDS and to reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS in New Brunswick. HIV/AIDS is a preventable disease and we believe that by focusing on three pillars: Education, prevention and Support we can minimize transmission and stigma. As a natural evolution from our mission statement, we also put a great deal of energy into running a Needle Exchange Program and actively supporting folks in our community who use drugs.
About AIDS NEW BRUNSWICK INC Initiatives
Education is one of the main ways we combat stigma in both everyday life and in healthcare. We have staff members travel throughout the province and present workshops to classrooms, workplaces, and groups. A few of our workshops are STBBI 101, Sex, Gender and Sexuality 101, and Stigma: Sex, Substances, and STBBI's For Healthcare Workers.With increased education, folks are capable of making informed decisions about the own body's decreasing the likelihood of transmission, and we are capable of lowering the amount of stigma experienced by folks with HIV/AIDS and other STBBIs, but also for 2SLGBTQIA+ folks and people who use substances.
We also run an info line (1-800-561-4009) where anyone may call and ask questions about drug use, gender and sexuality, HIV/AIDS, and STBBIs.
In effort to increase prevention, we operate three Needle Exchange Programs through out New Brunswick - one in Fredericton, one (and soon to be two) in Miramichi, and one in Bathurst.
Our Needle Exchange Programs run with a Harm Reduction Philosophy. To stop the transmission of HIV/AIDS and other STBBIs, it is important that non-judgmental safe spaces are available to people who are seeking agency over their own health who may otherwise be disenfranchise or discouraged from accessing other services in our communities. The Needle Exchange acts as a safe space for discussion on the social determinants of health while providing sterile, medical supplies for folks who use substances, people with diabetes, and folks on hormone replacement therapy. We also provide condoms and lube, and dental dams pending donations.
Helping people to cope and improve their quality of life guides the delivery of all our support services for people living with HIV/AIDS and their informal and formal caregivers. We strive to support individuals and organizations by providing and supporting opportunities for information sharing, skills-building, emotional support, peer support, referrals and advocacy.
We have an emergency support fund available for folks who have HIV/AIDS available upon application and approval year round. We also have a Hepatitis C Support Group that we run through the Fredericton Downtown Community Health Center. In conjunction with the Fredericton Downtown Community Health Centre, the last Tuesday of every months is called Testing Tuesday where folks can come in and quickly be tested for HIV/AIDS, and other STBBIs using the Rapid Test. This is only available at our Fredericton location.
We also have a Community Room available at our Fredericton office for anyone who is in need of clothes, snacks, and other supplies to come and help themselves free of charge.
Starting in 2020, we have begun a few different Drop-In programs open to everyone including our Art Drop In and Cribbage Tournaments. These programs help support both our clients who use the Needle Exchange Program, folks in our community who need education or support, and people who are just interested in the Drop In to create community relationships and feel safe accessing information and programs when they need it.