Drumbeat helps tackle stigma and remove barriers to accessing resources, addressing HIV in the African, Caribbean and Black (ACB) communities, and achieving better access to HIV testing and support services. We work to reduce HIV transmission and improve supports for ACB communities affected by HIV.
Key program activities include:
- Education for clients and staff in programs and organizations serving ACB communities
- Outreach at ACB community gathering places such as immigrant-serving organizations churches, businesses, cultural associations, and events
- Consultation on best practices and cultural competency training for engaging ACB communities in health and social services
- Free safer sex supplies and information material in the community
- HIV information brochures available in several African languages
- Special events, meetings and groups focusing on the needs of women
Drumbeat’s Advisory Committee
This innovative community mobilization project is the result of a multi-year research partnership between HIV Community Link and the University of Calgary. An Advisory Committee of diverse African community members and allies collaborate to raise awareness, reduce risk, and promote healthy decision making. By tackling stigma and breaking down barriers to testing and support services, we are building an informed and compassionate response to HIV in the ACB communities in Calgary.
Presentations and Resources:
If you are interested in presentations and workshops on HIV and HIV-related issues, let us know. We offer free presentations and trainings.
Why is this Program Important?
African, Caribbean and Black communities represent 4% of Canada’s population, yet represent 15% of Canada’s HIV epidemic, according to HIV statistics in 2014. The African Communities Program opens up conversation on HIV in the groups it works with. The project works to address stigma which we identify as the major obstacle in the response to HIV in the African communities. Stigma and fear mean people may hesitate to learn about and be tested for HIV and also avoid accessing treatment and support services when living with HIV.
Will I be deported if I test positive for HIV?
You will not be deported if you test positive. HIV testing is free and treatment is covered by Alberta Health Insurance.
If HIV is very difficult to transmit when people are receiving treatment, are new infections still happening in our communities?
Yes, there are many new infections every year, and the numbers are growing in our African Communities. Many people living with HIV do not know they have the virus because they are not getting regular testing. Testing is free, and testing is the only way to know if someone has HIV.
Why do agencies like HIV Community Link and STI Clinic ask so many personal questions about one’s lifestyle when you want to be tested or access services? It seems very intrusive.
These types of questions are asked to help us understand who we work with, what are the risks in the community and how we can provide the best programs to prevent HIV transmission and support those living with HIV. You can let someone know you are not comfortable answering certain questions and still be able to use the services.