by EVAN MATTHEWS
Northern Health has given an extra $180,000 to enhance HIV and Hepatitis C services in communities across northern B.C., and the organization is asking for your help.
The money comes as part of a request for proposal program for community partners and First Nations health organizations, according to a press release.
“This is an opportunity to empower community and engage people,” says Ciro Panessa, regional director of chronic diseases for Northern Health.
“We’re continuing to try and improve our response to our communities in the north, and try to prevent HIV and Hepatitis C. Ultimately, we want to prevent transmission,” he says.
Successful projects will focus on community needs, while providing base services making the necessary resources accessible, and life easier for those living with HIV and Hepatitis C.
Northern Health says it’s looking for proposals that will:
• Prevent and reduce the risk of HIV and hepatitis C transmission;
• Demonstrate partnerships enabling quick and easy to access testing; and
• Assist people who live with HIV or Hepatitis C, including support of those who start and maintain treatment.
“We’re looking for new community organizations we haven’t partnered with in the past,” says Panessa. “Hepatitis C is potentially curable, and the cure rate is increasing. Toxicity of drugs are being reduced, and a real opportunity to save people exists,” he says.
The ultimate goal, according to Northern Health, is to achieve an AIDS-free generation.
“We continue to improve our ability to treat HIV and Hepatitis C,” says Panessa. “If people are well engaged in treatment they can live long and happy lives.”
Interested organizations can find the request for proposals on the Northern Health website or at www.HIV101.ca.