Collaborating with Strength: Executive Summary
As we look back on another successful year, we appreciate, as ever, our collaborations and shared work with the many organizations and individuals that make up our communities as we strive to address the issues that unite us in action. We celebrate our shared accomplishments as we continue to identify the many challenges still to be addressed.
Advocacy milestones this year have potential for great impact for gay men, MSM, indigenous persons, sex workers and others at risk of acquiring HIV. Good news came in January: publicly funded PrEP would now be available to people living in BC that meet the coverage criteria. Some other fantastic news came in the spring with regards to people living with hepatitis C, in the form of an announcement that all people living with hepatitis C will be eligible for treatment regardless of the progression of liver damage (cirrhosis).
We applaud the hard work and effort by so many organizations and individuals that resulted in advocacy milestones this year.
We applaud the hard work and effort by so many organizations and individuals that resulted in these positive changes! At the same time we acknowledge that equitable access could be a challenge for some people. We also recognize the need for services across the entire continuum of care. We will continue to support and engage with the broader community to assess progress on these fronts to ensure that these initiatives best serve the communities most impacted.
Legal action taken against people living with HIV for non-disclosure of status in instances where there was no risk of infection continues to be an issue. The publication in the spring of BC’s updated Prosecutorial Guidelines includes the Sex2 policy specific to HIV. PAN is disappointed with the lack of clarity and science-based information in Sex 2, which does not reflect the scientific evidence. Over the past year, we have worked with Positive Living BC, the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, and other allies to raise our concerns with BC’s Attorney General – and we will continue to do so.
Another area of continued great concern has been the ongoing crisis of overdose and overdose deaths. The impact on individuals, families, and communities is devastating. So much good work has happened by member organizations and their allies (both within and outside of public health). And the value of work being done by peers across BC cannot be overstated. As bad as this epidemic is, the losses would be far greater without all the work that has been done on the front lines– often with insufficient resources. There have also been welcome changes in terms of greater access to harm reduction services including overdose prevention sites (OPS) across the province. However, until the fundamental issue of a clean supply is addressed, we will sadly continue to see unacceptable rates of deaths by overdose.
Looking to our future, we are now in the final year of our five-year strategic plan (2013-2018). A key part of our strategic plan was to evolve our governance to reflect the mission that was adopted in 2013 after an extensive process of member engagement and communication: Working collaboratively, the Pacific AIDS Network builds the capacity and skills of its member organizations, including people with lived experience, to effectively address HIV/AIDS, HCV, and related communicable diseases and conditions.
Members of the Board Governance Committee have been working diligently on these proposed governance changes over the course of the last two years. Board members presented on some of the ideas for change at PAN’s last two provincial fall conferences. We invited feedback from PAN members including PLHIV via our annual Members’ and Stakeholders survey with specific questions regarding our ideas for change; as well as creating other opportunities for feedback – including a monthly blog series and most recently, a town hall meeting held in September. Much work has happened by the board and the staff, but now it is up to the members to decide, so we look forward to the upcoming AGM vote.
We have worked alongside many of you to build and bring our programs to members and communities across the province. Thank you to everyone who have engaged with our work.
We are honoured to be positioned with the trust of many and are also aware of the responsibility this carries. As part of the strategic planning process going forward, we will continue to listen to the voices of people with lived experience, our members, project partners and other important stakeholders to determine what is needed now, and what will be needed as we look to the future. Over the past year we have worked alongside many of you to build and bring our programs to members and communities across the province. Thank you to everyone who have engaged with our work; we appreciate your energy and commitment!
Jennifer (Evin) Jones, Executive Director
Read the summary reports from each department
2017 in Review: Training and Leadership
2017 in Review: Positive Leadership Development Institute
2017 in Review: Community-Based Research
2017 in Review: Evaluation
2017 in Review: Collective Impact Network
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