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Home  Health Information People Living With HIV

PRIDE Toronto

If you are living with HIV, ACT has a wide range of free programs and services to help you improve your overall health and well-being. This includes programs for women, young people, gay and bisexual men, people who are newly diagnosed and long-term survivors, cis and trans people, people who use drugs, sex workers, straight (heterosexual) people and newcomers (immigrants).

Check out ACT’s programs and services

A look at HIV in Toronto (via Toronto Public Health):

  • over 20,000 people have been diagnosed with HIV in Toronto since 1985
  • we estimate that about 19,000 people are currently living with HIV in Toronto
  • 435 people were diagnosed with HIV in Toronto in 2015
    • 15% were among women
    • 85% were among men

 

Programs and services at ACT for people living with HIV 

Bathhouse Counselling program: Towel Talk
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Provides free, confidential and anonymous mental health counselling to gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men in bathhouses. You can drop by any of the participating bathhouses and talk to a professional counsellor if you feel like talking to someone, or you can book an appointment with them at ACT’s offices. For more information about how to connect with a counsellor, call 416-340-8484 ext. 289 or just go and see the counsellor when they are at the baths! 

Buddy Program
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This program matches people living with HIV with a trained volunteer that can provide confidential friendly support. A buddy can meet with you at ACT, in your home, or at other locations (for example at a coffee shop).

Find out more about the Buddy Program

Community Health Forums
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Offered monthly from September through March, these free forums cover a range of topics of interest to people living with HIV and AIDS, as well prevention options for people at risk for HIV. They usually consist of panel presentations and discussions with community and medical experts.

Can't make a forum in person? Missed a forum? You can watch online! To find the next event or view a past forum, visit the forum webpage.

Community Health Forums

Counselling
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We provide free, confidential counselling to anyone who is living with HIV. Counsellors will meet with you at ACT, over the phone, or in other locations, such as coffee shops. There is no need to give a real name if anonymity or confidentiality is a concern. Couples counselling, grief/bereavement counselling, and counselling for a partner of someone with HIV, are all available.

Find out more about counselling at ACT

Employment Services
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Called Employment ACTion, this program is for people with HIV who are considering (re)employment. The program offers self-employment, career exploration, benefits counselling, skills upgrading, competitive resumes and interview coaching along with job search, placement and retention follow-up services. For a confidential appointment call 416-623-1782 or visit our website at employmentaction.org.

Gay Men's Community Education and Outreach
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ACT offers HIV, STI and sexual health promotion training sessions, workshops and discussion groups for gay and bisexual men, regardless of HIV status. We develop sexual health information resources and make available free condoms and water-based lubricant at places where gay men meet. We also provide sexual health information and referrals online through social and sexual networking sites.

Mental Health and Substance Use Counselling at Maple Leaf Medical Clinic
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ACT’s Community Counsellor spends four days a week at Maple Leaf Medical Clinic providing counselling services for gay/bi/queer men on a range of mental health and substance use issues. If your doctor is at Maple Leaf Medical, you can access this free service – just tell your physician you’d like to be referred to the ACT Community Counsellor at Maple Leaf. This is open to all gay, bisexual and queer-identified men, including trans men, who are patients at the clinic.

Gay Men's Online Outreach
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ACT has a team of trained online outreach volunteers that are available on all the major dating and hook-up apps for gay, bisexual, and queer men across Toronto. The outreach team responds to questions about HIV and sexual health, and can provide referrals to other services.

Find out more here

GPS: Gay Poz Sex
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Confidential and once a week for eight weeks, this small group meeting of six to eight gay men living with HIV is facilitated by gay HIV-positive peers. The GPS program takes a sex positive, holistic approach to sexual health. Be empowered with skills and tools so you get the sex you want and not what you don’t.

Visit gaypozsex.org

Lunch Programs
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Each week, we serve up two free, nutritious and hot meals in a confidential and supportive environment. They’re on Thursdays and Fridays. Advance registration is required for both. For more info, including how to register visit here.

Income Tax Clinic
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ACT has qualified income tax consultants to help you complete your income tax return, if you are an HIV-positive single person with a total income not exceeding $45,000. We can help with single or multiple-year returns. For more information or to book an appointment, call 416-340-2437 or send an email to ask@actoronto.org.

Insurance Benefits Clinic
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Volunteers from the insurance industry meet one-on-one for confidential consultations regarding insurance benefits for people living with HIV.  All volunteers in the program currently work, or have worked in the past, in the insurance industry, and can offer guidance, information and suggestions on how to resolve your concerns. For more information, or to book an appointment call 416-340-2437, visit our offices, or email us at ask@actoronto.org.

Positive Youth Outreach (PYO)
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Peer support for young people aged 29 and under living with HIV. Drop-in is held from 2 – 5 pm, and discussion groups 6 – 8 pm every Thursday. Monthly workshops!

Learn more about PYO

Intakes and Referrals
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Whether you’re newly diagnosed with HIV, a long-term survivor, or you`re interested in getting a prescription for PEP or PrEP, we can help. ACT’s Access Centre has comprehensive referral lists that can link you into care, whatever your needs are.

See ACT’s Intakes and Referrals

Service Access
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Service Access Coordinators and Information desk volunteers provide friendly support and assistance in directing individuals to staff, completing agency intakes, provide information and make referrals by phone, email and in person. Call 416-340-2437 or email ask@actoronto.org.

Social Support Network
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The Social Support Network provides regular social outings at minimal or no cost to people living with HIV. To find out about upcoming events, or to register, call 416-340-2437 or email Sarah at sschultz@actoronto.org.

Support Groups
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Groups are offered throughout the year. We have groups just for gay men, as well as groups open to all people living with HIV and AIDS, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation. To find out about upcoming groups, call 416-340-2437.

See ACT’s entire list of groups

Women's Coffee Night
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Held twice monthly in the evening, this social support event for women living with HIV, including trans women, provides an opportunity to connect with others and learn from each other's experiences. Call 416-340-8484 ext. 239 or email Sarah at sschultz@actoronto.org for more information or to register. Child care subsidies and public transit fare can be provided.

WomenZone
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Held three times per month during the day, and open to all women living with HIV, including trans women, WomenZone offers women the opportunity to learn about ways to better manage their health, the importance of nutrition, and an opportunity to interact with each other. Call 416-340-8484 ext. 239 or email Sarah at sschultz@actoronto.org for more information or to register. Child care subsidies and public transit fare can be provided.