Youth who are street-involved and inject drugs are at a higher rate of getting HIV.
One out of every hundred street-involved youth is HIV positive, which is 5 times higher than the national rate.
In 2016, people who inject drugs made up 11.3% of all new HIV infections in Canada.
When it comes to sexual activity:
Sources: PHAC, 2015. "Summary: Estimates of HIV Prevalence and Incidence in Canada, 2014."
PHAC, 2018. "Summary: Estimates of HIV incidence, prevalence and Canada's progress on meeting the 90-90-90 HIV targets, 2016."
CATIE, 2012. "Street-involved Youth in Canada"
What’s Harm Reduction?
Harm reduction is the idea that if you’re going to choose to do something risky, you will do it in the safest way possible.
For example, wearing a helmet when you ride a bike, using a condom when you have sex, or using a new, unused needle when you inject drugs. Harm reduction is about educating people to make informed decisions about their own drug use and sexual practices.
CANFAR works towards addressing stigma and judgment associated with HIV, drug-use and street-involved youth.
We want to help youth become educated on how to be safe, how protect themselves and others, and take ownership of their own health outcomes and well-being. 💪
CANFAR partnered with Resource Assistance for Youth, Inc. (RaY) to create a digital media project with street-involved youth exploring the meaning of harm reduction through spoken word poetry.
This video and project is a powerful testament to how harm reduction and non-judgmental support can lead to youth empowerment, resiliency, community, and solidarity.
Living in a drug free society is unrealistic. 🔊
Harm reduction is a neutral approach meaning that it doesn’t believe that drugs are good or bad.
A harm reduction approach tries to meet the person where they are at, whether they be an occasional drug user or an everyday drug user.
Harm reduction doesn’t just look at substance use. It takes a more rounded approach to address a person’s problems and explore why they may be using substances. People use drugs for a variety of reasons. Whatever the reason may be, different needs need different supports.
CANFAR believes that harm reduction programs are key in creating greater awareness and prevention efforts for HIV.
We want to make sure that people who do not want to or feel like they cannot stop using drugs, are provided with strategies to practice safer drug use and safer sex.
Where can I find support? 🙏
Check out the link below to find counselling and harm reduction services near you.