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Toronto HIV/AIDS Network (THN)

The Toronto HIV/AIDS Network includes AIDS Service Organizations, HIV-related programs, people living with HIV/AIDS, community members, and broader organizations that have an impact upon the lives of people living with and at risk of HIV/AIDS.

Contents:

Background

A strategic plan for HIV/AIDS Services in Toronto was developed through the Toronto HIV/AIDS Community Planning Initiative (TCPI), a regional consultative process conducted during 2005-2007. The process was initiated and sponsored by the provincial AIDS Bureau, Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) with guidance from the Ontario Advisory Committee on HIV/AIDS (OACHA). The Plan (March 2007) recognizes that, in order to address diverse HIV/AIDS related needs and service gaps, Toronto requires a broad-based ongoing HIV/AIDS planning and coordination function. The ongoing Toronto HIV/AIDS Network emerged from this planning process.

Mission Statement

The Toronto HIV/AIDS Network (THN) facilitates HIV/AIDS planning, collaboration and innovation to improve access to programs and services for people from diverse communities living with, affected by and at risk of HIV/AIDS.

Objectives

  1. To facilitate community HIV/AIDS strategic planning that responds to local needs.
  2. To improve access to services for people living with HIV and at risk for HIV.
  3. To provide more coordinated, integrated and effective services.
  4. To develop innovative service delivery models.
  5. To foster opportunities to collaborate and develop partnerships in programs, services, research, amongst related sectors and at local,provincial and national levels.

Guiding Values

  • Greater Involvement of People Living With and Affected by HIV/AIDS (GIPA principle)
  • Driven by documented and expressed needs
  • Inclusion
  • Harm reduction
  • Respect and integrity
  • A social justice and anti-oppression approach
  • Integration of services
  • Accountability

Vision: key features of a future HIV/AIDS system

The following were identified as desired features of a future system, set out as goals toward which we will strive:

  • Client-directed services
  • Needs driven
  • Comprehensive and responsive
  • Accessible
  • Culturally competent and grounded in an anti-racist, anti-oppression framework
  • Coordinated and collaborative
  • A focus on ongoing system quality improvement
  • Efficient and effective

Recommended Priorities

The 2007 Plan provides a framework through which issues and gaps that would benefit from coordination and collaboration can be addressed. Ten recommended priorities were established for realizing positive changes in Toronto:

  1. Establish an ongoing HIV/AIDS planning and coordination committee.
  2. Develop an accessible, coordinated HIV/AIDS service information system.
  3. Promote integrated, innovative and targeted prevention education strategies.
  4. Improve the responsiveness of health and social services to people living with HIV/AIDS.
  5. Enhance the capacity of HIV/AIDS-specific programs and services to serve more diverse communities across Toronto.
  6. Improve access to a range of affordable and appropriate housing for people living with HIV/AIDS.
  7. Advocate to address income and employment-related needs.
  8. Develop a coordinated training strategy targeted at HIV/AIDS organizations and programs.
  9. Promote infrastructure partnerships and address human resource retention issues.
  10. Coordinate implementation of Toronto’s HIV/AIDS Plan with Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs), provincial HIV/AIDS strategies and other emerging initiatives.

Work is undertaken on the Priorities through large group meetings of representatives of Member organizations/programs and their Steering Committee, and through several Working Groups which engage both organizational and individual participants.

The THN appreciates the support of its funder, the AIDS Bureau, Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC); the support of the Toronto People With AIDS Foundation which houses THN and is its trustee; and the leadership and in-kind contributions of the participating individuals and organizations.

TCPI report cover