This month’s Community Spotlight is again on Bradford McIntyre.
We want to join him in celebrating the life he was told should have ended within 6 months from November 28 — THIRTY YEARS AGO!
Brad, as you might remember from our September Community Spotlight, is a dear friend of VIDC. A number of our photos (for example, the ones from STRUT 2015 and RR4L 8, to name a few) were taken by him — if there is anything significant happening in the HIV community that we are a part of, we can bet that Brad is already there! Brad’s commitment to the work that he does for the HIV Positive community rivals even our own, and this post sheds some light on what motivates this passion.
This month’s spotlight is a bit different. Not only is it shone on someone we’ve already featured before, but it is also one where we will let the the person speak for himself.
There is no way anything written on VIDC Connect could be as impactful as reading his words for yourself.
Here’s a quick snapshot of some important updates from VIDC.
UBC iCON South Asian CPC
On November 28, 2015 the VIDC team held its third special CPC. VIDC Community Pop-Up Clinics are are constantly evolving to accommodating different communities that would benefit from point-of-care testing for either HIV, HCV, or both. This year we have done a CPC at the World Hepatitis Day Vancouver Event 2015 for attendees, one for the Chinese community at the S.U.C.C.E.S.S. Health Fair 2015, and now a one for the South Asian Community. Just like the first two events, VIDC provided point-of-care HCV Testing, FibroScan® Testing, and a specialist consult for those who test positive
As a medical and research clinic, VIDC is involved with a number of clinical trials — specifically trials in HIV and HCV. One of which is AMBER, an AbbVie clinical study focused on treating chronic hepatitis C infection for genotype 1. Consequently, the VIDC team — led by Dr. Brian Conway — successfully enrolled the very first patient for the study.
Clinical studies like these are a very integral part of the cascade of care we provide at VIDC. These studies allow us to further engage patients in care, and provide them access (when applicable) to treatment options that are only available through clinical studies.
Red Ribbons for Life (RR4L)
Red Ribbons for Life 8 last November 29 was a huge success! Community organizations and its supporters, local politicians, pharmaceutical company representatives, and amazing performers came together to help raise money and awareness for HIV.
And of course, VIDC was there to support the cause — and to listen to our President and Medical Director, Dr. Brian Conway, give the keynote speech for the evening.
It was a lovely evening filled with music, laughter, and show-stopping performances shared with friends and family all present to support the fundraising efforts of RR4L.
One of the main issues with health care revolves around access — regardless of how state-of-the-art your services are, if the target population cannot access it, it is essentially useless. This is one of the reasons VIDC Connect exists, to help in engaging individuals by updating them on who we are and what we do. There is, however, an organization that’s taking this a step further: bc211.
According to their website:
bc211 is a Vancouver-based nonprofit organization that specializes in providing information and referral regarding community, government and social services in BC. Our help line services include 211, the Alcohol and Drug Information and Referral Service (ADIRS), the Problem Gambling Help Line, VictimLink BC, and the Youth Against Violence Line. (www.bc211.ca/about/)
Basically, bc211 bridges the gap between service providers and individuals who need the services. Their main helpline, 2-1-1, is both a telephone and a texting service!
211 is a confidential, multilingual telephone and texting service available in Metro Vancouver, Fraser Valley, Squamish-Lillooet and Sunshine Coast Regional Districts. 211 provides free information and referral to a full range of community, social, and government services, and operates twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. (WWW.BC211.CA/HELP-LINES/)
They also have a Twitter account that further facilitates the ease of connecting with them.
And here’s our — Vancouver Infectious Diseases Centre’s (VIDC’s) — listing on bc211.
Please help us spread this amazing resource as widely as possible. You, your friend, relative, coworker, classmate, professor, mentor, etc. might need it or know someone who does. Being able to access the appropriate services at the appropriate time could drastically alter an individual’s life.
As part of the goal of VIDC and VIDC Connect to spread awareness and facilitate education, we try to provide and connect you with a number of educational health resources.
These are some newsletters, blogs, or organization websites that provide HCV educational materials, treatment information, news, and other innovations and noteworthy updates in the field of hepatitis C.
Our November Resources Update puts the spotlight on hepc.bull. If you’re looking for resources written, compiled, and distributed by community members directly infected and/or affected by Hepatitis C, then this resource is just what you need.
Organization Description: “HepCBC is a non-profit organization run by and for people infected and affected by hepatitis C. Our mission is to provide education, prevention, and support to those living with HCV.” – hepcbc.ca
Newsletter Description: “It contains the latest research results, government policy changes, activities and campaigns, articles by patients and caregivers, and a list of support groups plus other useful links.” – hepcbc.ca