Sex. Health. Community. A program of The AIDS Network: serving Hamilton, Halton, Haldimand, Norfolk & Brant

HIV testing in the tubs

Free, anonymous rapid HIV testing. A simple prick of your finger and you get the result in minutes! bathhouse testing april


Gay Men’s HIV Prevention Worker


This position is directly responsible for the implementation and coordination of the Gay Men’s HIV Prevention Program. This project’s goal is to increase the knowledge of HIV transmission among gay youth and men in order to create and sustain healthier sexual practices. Working in collaboration with local partners and networks, the Gay Men’s HIV Prevention Worker is responsible for developing, coordinating, delivering and evaluating education, training, community-based and online outreach, community development and awareness campaign activities throughout the Hamilton, Halton, Haldimand-Norfolk and Brant regions. This is a full-time position based on a regular 35 hour work week. The salary range for this position is $20.51 to $25.26 per hourly rate. The position is based in Hamilton with some regional travel required.


·         Leads knowledge exchange and sharing of information, materials and resources related to HIV prevention initiatives and best practices for men who have sex with men (MSM);

·         Develops and promotes community forums and targeted testing and awareness blitzes

·         Engages and develops peer-led, community based programming;

·         Develops and maintains the program’s social media and online outreach sites including blog, Facebook page, and web-based apps and other website venues;

·         Develops and leads education and training sessions and initiatives;

·         Provides one to one education services both in person at outreach sites, including regular bathhouse outreach, and through online outreach;

·         Participates in community development activities, events and networks both locally and provincially;

·         Develops and maintains unstaffed resource and information sites at key outreach locations.

·         Monitors, evaluates and reports on the activities of the program to ensure accountability.


·         Post-secondary degree or diploma in related field, or combined equivalent related training and experience;

·         Knowledge of HIV and AIDS with focus on health promotion strategies within the current context and social determinants of health;

·         Previous experience organizing and leading education events geared to social service agencies, community partners, etc. and community discussion forums;

·         Demonstrated experience of implementing community development models and peer-based programming connected to sexual health education and/or behaviour change focused awareness initiatives;

·         Knowledge of and connection to the LGBTQ+ communities in the Hamilton, Halton, Brant and Haldimand-Norfolk regions;

·         Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail;

·         In-depth knowledge and ability to manage social media and engage in online and face to face community outreach;

·         Flexible to challenges as they arise and the ability to remain calm under pressure

·         Ability to handle confidential/ sensitive information with discretion and maturity

·         Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively in conflict and other situations that may require tact, diplomacy and discretion

·         Demonstrated proficiency with computer systems, (i.e., Word, Excel, Outlook)

·         Possession of a valid G Class driver’s license with access to and use of an automobile is preferred

·         Able to work occasional weekends and evenings as needed.

If this opportunity resonates with your previous work, education and qualifications then we want to meet you to discuss this exciting opportunity! For more information on The AIDS Network and the Men4Men program, please visit and

Please forward your electronic resume and covering letter clearly explaining your interest in the position and outlining what skills and knowledge you bring to the position by email to: We ask that you please not send your application by fax or surface mail. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling, ongoing basis until the position is successfully filled. We thank all applicants for their interest in the position however only individuals invited for interview will be contacted.

The AIDS Network values inclusion and diversity and promotes access and equity using an anti racism, anti oppression framework. Persons living with HIV are encouraged to apply.

It is pretty clear that gay men have major thing for all things anal. We don’t mean to rain on your patootie parade, but there are important things about your (second) favorite body part that you need to know so you don’t get any unwanted junk in your trunk.

Most of this applies to every single one of us, so listen up. We’re talking to you, total tops! (And hey, call us.)

Queerty spoke to expert fanny physician Elie Schochet, MD, of Ft Lauderdale, who has become a popular go-to man on anal health. His town hall events on the subject are swarming with gay men, and his “Team Happy Hineys” is even the largest AIDS Walk group in south Florida this year.

“I’m a straight man who tells gay guys how to use their ass right,” he told us. “It’s been a real education on both sides. But the medical facts are way too important not to talk about this openly.” The good doctor definitely has no anal shame.

Let’s see if you can say the same by checking out these important messages…

1. Respect your sphincter!

Pain is a signal from our body that something is wrong. Yes, anal sex can hurt as you learn to relax, but real pain should never be ignored, no matter how insistent the top might be. Your anus needs to last you a really long time and injuries can mean a lifetime of problems.

Just because you’re watching a porn movie with a guy shoving dining room furniture up his moneymaker doesn’t mean you should have his dexterity. Don’t let your eyes get bigger than your booty.

If your ass swallows a foreign object, seek medical help if it doesn’t come out easily. (Fun fact: the most interesting object Dr. Schochet has removed from someone’s caboose was a Buzz Lightyear action figure. “In the owner’s defense, the wings were not extended,” said the doctor.)

“Don’t try removing it yourself,” cautions Dr. Schochet. “I tell gay men in the area that I will make a house call if necessary. Regardless, an embarrassing trip to the ER is better than doing yourself permanent damage.

Read the full article here:




217 Main Street East, Unit 13, Second Floor Towne Square- Parking at Rear

Wed. March 11th 4-7 pm

Fri. March 13th  11-2 pm


3350 Fairview Street , South Side-East of Burlington Mall

Tues. March 24th  4-7 pm

Thurs. March 26th 11-2 pm

HIV isn’t what it used to be. Testing has changed with it.

Gone are the days of waiting anxiously for weeks for the result.

Today, you have options. Rapid HIV testing (also known as the point-of-care test) is highly accurate and provides the result in under 60 seconds.  This testing is anonymous and no identifying information is collected. You can also test for other STIs including syphilis which we have been seeing more of among guys into guys.


If he says he’s “undetectable”, congratulate him! This means he is living with a treated HIV infection, taking medications that keep him healthy and can fuck without fear of transmission.


Who’s hungry?

The perfect gift for your Valentine? 


The Case for PrEP, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love HIV-Positive Guys

Taking Truvada changed my life. No, really.


This article was originally shared @

The Case for PrEP, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love HIV-Positive Guys

The pills are sky blue. Large, but not horse-sized. The corporate stamp, GILEAD, is printed on them in all caps.

Holding the bottle, I wonder if I’m ready to take it. I’ve read the list of potential side effects—mainly liver damage and bone density loss. My friends who’ve been on the drug for over a year have experienced neither. I’ve heard the rumors that taking this will influence me to stop using condoms and start screwing the whole touring cast of The Book of Mormon. It has taken me several months to get these pills—for free, thanks to a combination of insurance and Washington State’s drug-assistance program—and there’s something unreal about finally holding them. Holding the “miracle” HIV-prevention pill, Truvada.

My daily Truvada regimen is called PrEP, or Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis. That means I take it now, while I’m HIV-negative, and it prevents infection if I’m exposed to the virus. A single Truvada pill is actually a combination of two drugs, tenofovir and emtricitabine, which block reverse transcriptase, an enzyme that allows the virus to multiply. They essentially stop the virus from reproducing in the body. Truvada is also commonly prescribed as part of PEP, or Post-Exposure Prophylaxis, for people in the immediate aftermath of HIV exposure who want to prevent the virus from taking hold in their body. And it’s effective at treating people who are HIV-positive, in combination with other drugs. My neighbor has been on Truvada to treat his HIV for years. He’s healthy and strong and grateful to be alive. This is not a new drug with unknown side effects.

There’s been far more controversy about Truvada than is warranted—most of it speculation, superstition, and sex shaming. The term “Truvada whore” gets tossed around ironically among gay men, and unironically among people who like to criticize gay men. For PrEP, Truvada is prescribed to be taken daily. Naysayers have claimed that the daily dose is an unreliable expectation because they know gay men, and we won’t take it every day. They also claim that it’s on its way to being treated as a sex-binge drug alongside meth.

To these folks, I can only offer my most considerate “Fuck off.”

Everyone I’ve asked takes it every day, and I know a lot of people who take it. But even this daily regimen is now in question—just a few weeks ago, news broke that you may not have to take it every day. According to research conducted in the French IPERGAY trial (which also studied participants in Canada), Truvada is highly effective when taken just 24 hours prior to exposure to HIV and then again in the days following exposure. So effective, in fact, that researchers canceled the blind portion of the trial early and put everyone who was on placebos on Truvada.

This is an amazing development. The daily regimen is fine for people who are frequently sexually active, especially those in relationships with an HIV-positive partner, but not everyone is. And what about when we surprise ourselves? A sudden encounter with a still-affectionate ex-lover? A brief sign-on to Grindr, just to “see who’s around”? For heaven’s sake, Halloween?

The point is, whether you’re taking PrEP vigilantly every day or less frequently, it’s highly effective, and even more importantly, it’s nobody’s business how you take your medicine, other than perhaps the people with whom you’re having sex. Read the rest of this entry »

Friday Fun


Op-ed: An Open Letter to My HIV

One man checks in with the virus in his body — and thanks it.


Dear HIV,

I hope you’re well. It’s been a while since I’ve written, and I want to take a moment to acknowledge you as another year begins.

You’ll recall the contract I required you to sign seven years ago when you took up residence in my body. In this contract, I conceded that your continued tenancy comes with these parameters:

You will be quiet.
You will not procreate.
You will not aggravate, vex, poison, or in any other way influence the cells and functions of the other organs and processes in my body.
You will occupy a small, windowless, doorless space approximately the size of the tip of a stickpin in a deep reservoir inside my body, where you will have no nourishment, no visitors, and no hope of escape.

Thank you, HIV, for respecting the simple parameters of this contract. It has been a healthy and productive seven years, and I look forward to your continued cooperation. I’m aware you don’t get out much, if at all, and I thought it might be sweet of me to provide an update. Here’s what you’ve done for me — without even knowing — in the past few years.

You’ve given me a keen sense of intuition about my body. Now more than ever, I can monitor how I am feeling. I’m aware of every sniffle, ache, pain, head cold, and swollen gland much faster than in the past, and I stay connected to my health care provider more than the average person might. As a result, my doctor has informed me that I have the lab results of a perfectly healthy 30-year-old man, except of course for HIV. Did I mention I’ll be 44 this month? Makes every birthday pretty sweet. Thank you for that.

You’ve given me a sense of compassion for others I had previously lacked. I’ve been able to speak to others who are newly diagnosed or who have been living with HIV or other chronic medical conditions and understand what it means to “walk a mile in their moccasins.” I am a better listener and a better counselor. I am grateful for this gift.

Because of you, I live in the moment. When I was faced with my mortality, I began to see how important it is to be grateful for each brand-new, baby day. I see now — all that matters is this moment, and the next, and the one after that. I’ve slowed down, I’ve stopped stressing about what I now call “First World problems.” I breathe in, I breathe out, I discover, I discern, and I direct.

I speak compassionately. I don’t engage in hateful speech, gossip, or drama. I am impeccable with my word. I don’t take things personally anymore. In fact, I don’t even take you personally, HIV. You’re here, and for the foreseeable future, “here” you shall stay. There’s nothing I can do to get rid of you, at least not presently.

But I can suppress you.

Thank you for your cooperation with suppression. Suppression has found its way into many areas of “my one wild and precious life.” I have suppressed “negativity” in favor of a positive and affirming life. I have suppressed fear and embraced curiosity and love. I have ended destructive habits in favor of creative endeavors. I have sought to connect rather than isolate. I have stepped way beyond my comfort zone, because I have realized that my comfort zone isn’t comfortable at all. It’s safe and contained, but like the place where you live inside my body, HIV, it’s a small, dark windowless room. I prefer the uncertainty and adventure of wide open spaces. I prefer to visit the edges and the fringes, the outskirts of town where God lives.

I’ll keep you there so I can venture out and live life in spite of you and yet because of you. My life as an HIV-positive man is a positive life indeed. I have no need for negativity, no need for self-loathing, no place in my life for the stigma so often placed on me by the larger community because of my status and my homosexuality. I have embraced love in your wake. I am positive. I am a beautiful and divine child of God. It may have taken your residency inside my body to get me to realize this, and for that I am grateful.

I forgive you, and I also thank you. You sought to destroy me from the inside out, and instead you have made me stronger than I ever thought possible.

Kevin Varner

KEVIN VARNER is a North Carolina–based writer and educator. For more visit his blog, Life With a Plus Sign. 

Well then…




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