Family of HIV
On Tuesday, September 26th PWA’s 30th Anniversary Planning Committee produced the first ever Family of HIV event. PWA was packed with friends, clients, donors and family of all ages for an evening of engagement, presentation, reflection, and celebration. PWA and its family have evolved when you walk in to PWA today, you see a very diverse family – an organization true to it’s core mission yet vastly different from it’s beginnings in 1987.
In the 1980’s, gay men living with AIDS needed desperate support, the kind you only get from family. But because they were gay and had AIDS, most no longer had a traditional family they could turn to, so they turned to each other. They turned to each other for financial support, for food, for unconditional love and support through the hard times. From turning to each other, they created a family out of HIV they created PWA – a home away from home . As AIDS and HIV evolved, so has PWA.
Because of all the Stigma and discrimination they faced from being gay and HIV+, gay men living with AIDS made PWA a welcoming and healing space for everyone, a place of community and a place to unite as a family, a Family of HIV. Everyone living with and affected by HIV/AIDS was welcome. This family is made up of Men, Women, Children, and Transmen and Tran women together creating a strong support network rooted together in HIV. The family is diverse, unique, and provide meaningful expressions of their lived experiences.
With its own challenges, financial impacts, social isolation, and at times unmet mental health needs the family of HIV is those unexpected connections, unconditional love and support, the familial support through practical supports, and the comfort knowing that families support and nurture each other through good times and bad.
PWA with its rich history of supporting People living with HIV/AIDS is the family unit that helps enhance the skills, abilities, values, and talents of PHA’s. The hopes, dreams, and wishes for this family are critical to health and well-being and help provide direction. Families support, encourage, and help each other live into their dreams, rooted together in HIV/AIDS; PWA is this family.
Each year PWA highlights its community partners, volunteers, and donors with the annual Friends of the Foundation Awards, honouring community, corporate and volunteer supporters who embody PWA’s mission and demonstrate compassion, kindness, generosity, and courage. These incredible individuals exemplify community and are part of our Family of HIV.
Congratulations to the 2016 -2017 award recipients.
Outstanding Community Support
Lisa & Joe
Outstanding Corporate Support:
Beaches Animal Hospital
Starbucks Coffee Canada – Bay & Dundas store
Outstanding Volunteer Support:
Brent Everett James