ACT offers a collection of free programs and services for young people living with HIV, including PYO, our positive youth support program.
Being young is complicated. If you're between 16 and 29, you're trying to figure out a whole lot about yourself: your identity, your likes and dislikes, school, career and dating, to name a few.
Regardless of your HIV status, we're here for you. Whether you want to connect with other young people living with HIV, or you want to learn more about HIV and sexual health, we offer programs specifically for young people, as well as other free, confidential services.
A look at HIV among young Canadians, via CATIE:
- one-quarter of all HIV diagnoses in Canada were in youth aged 15 to 29
- almost two-thirds (65%) of new HIV diagnoses in youth in 2014 were among men having sex with men (MSM)
- among all HIV diagnoses in females in 2014, 20% were youth
- almost one-fifth (19%) were attributed to heterosexual sex
Programs and services at ACT for young people
ACT’s Positive Youth Outreach (PYO) program is a free, peer-led program for young people (16-29) living with HIV. You heard us – PYO is a program for you and led by people just like you, who’ve been where you are before.
PYO’s main group meets every Thursday from 4 to 8 p.m. at ACT, but it also offers a range of other supports. Such as:
Weekly Discussion Group
Every Thursday from 6 - 8pm, open to young people living with HIV for a structured peer discussion support group.
Community Learning Series
External workshops are held in community settings for young people living with, affected by, at risk for, or concerned about HIV, Hep C or other STIs.
We offer peer support by appointment and on a drop-in basis.
Connecting you to Services
We help connect young people living with HIV to other services both at ACT and at other community agencies and services.
We provide opportunities that build leadership skills among young people living with HIV.
We provide information on HIV, Hep C, and other STIs as well as sexual health to young people. We go to places where young people hang out in the community!
Consider yourself more of a leader than a follower? Totally outRIGHT provides younger gay/bi/queer guys an inclusive space and exciting opportunity to learn from community leaders working in social support and sexual health fields.
From managing an online dating or hookup profile, learning about ways to improve your sexual health, to community activism and a lot in between, Totally outRIGHT is a mentorship boot camp for young men wanting to take on leadership roles in their personal and professional lives. Open to young gay, bi, pansexual and queer men, ages 18-29 who want to be community leaders including racialized guys, guys from diverse ethnic communities, trans guys, and guys living with HIV.
ACT offers a wide range of group-based programs. Some of these are support groups, some of these are more educational in nature. We offer groups specifically for people living with HIV, for those concerned about their risk of HIV, as well as groups that focus on mental health or substance use.
ACT provides free, confidential counselling to anyone who knows someone with HIV, or is concerned about their risk of HIV. Counsellors will meet with you at ACT offices, 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.
ACT offers free employment supports for young people living with HIV through Employment ACTion. As a progressive, not-for-profit employment program, EA can work with you to help find the career that fits that your needs and will help prepare you for new challenges such as resume writing and interview coaching.