Recap: CANFAR at the International AIDS Conference #AIDS2022

The 24th International AIDS Conference, AIDS 2022, hosted at the Palais des Congrès in Montréal, was an overwhelmingly positive experience for CANFAR. We shared many incredible moments with members of the extended CANFAR family as well as the global HIV/AIDS community.

We were moved by the reception to CANFAR’s youth awareness resource, Sexfluent, which directly reached over 3,500 attendees, as well as the collective support of CANFAR’s work in other national priorities, such as increasing access to HIV self-testing and rapid testing, as well as access to innovative healthcare tools.

“What we were able to achieve in such a challenging space was incredible – it was a highlight of my career.”

– Alex Filiatrault, CANFAR CEO

CANFAR’s Presence at AIDS 2022

It started with our team attending the International Indigenous and U=U Pre-Conferences, where we networked and learned about many global lessons that could make an impact locally. Then, the main conference began and CANFAR co-hosted a series of events, including our Scientific Advisory Board meeting, an Anglican Pride service at the Montreal Christ Church Cathedral with board member Jeffrey Rock, and a Pride community kick-off party with Fierté Montréal and Gilead Sciences.

Our show-stopping Sexfluent networking zone in the Global Village – Youth Pavilion was the most frequented space. We had the most interactive and exciting booth in the Global Village, which included: a touchscreen display of and an international Spotify playlist for attendees to add songs to; a Nestlé sponsorship of free ice cream and Pride edition KitKat giveaways; a Wonder Wall to collect community feedback; a pilot of our original Let’s Get Sexfluent card game; a selfie wall featuring Sexfluent’s Queen of Modern Sex; Networking Zone passport; and a Make Your Own Safer Sex Kit station with over 15,000 condoms and other safer sex barriers given away.

Special guests, Dr. Theresa Tam, the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, and Minister Carolyn Bennett, stopped by the Sexfluent booth to learn how CANFAR is reaching and engaging our nation’s youth to deliver inclusive sexual and mental health education along with resources on modern sex, safer substance use, and harm reduction.

Most notably, we were privileged to bring along some of our National Ambassadors – Julio Reyes Cocka, Christian Hui, Gabriel Jarquin, Ashley Rose Murphy, Justin Anantawan, Martin Morberg, and Jade Elektra – to participate in our networking zone and events. And our Sexfluent Squad members, Myles Sexton, Tyra Blizzard, and Jordy and Lamymy, kept the engagement going, meeting thousands of international delegates and telling them about Sexfluent.

CANFAR was able to establish its presence as a major player in HIV in Canada throughout the international conference, with an op-ed in the Globe & Mail and interviews with Global TV, Le Devoir, La Presse, and Radio-Canada.

At AIDS 2022, the Federal Government also announced an $18M investment in the rollout of self-testing kits across Canada.

This was a vote of confidence for the CANFAR-supported project led by Dr. Sean Rourke and REACH Nexus, following consultations with Federal Health Minister Duclos.

Thank you to all our donors and supporters for making it possible for us to have such an impact on an international stage.

Watch the clips below by videographer Mark Rupert for a first-hand look at CANFAR at AIDS 2022.