Providing Prevention and Support Services Around Blood Borne Pathogens for Over 20 Years in Cape Breton.
The Ally Centre of Cape Breton is dedicated to preventing the spread of HIV and Hepatitis C in the community and supporting those that have been infected and/or affected by these blood borne pathogens. We take a community development approach by providing education, support and advocacy services to the people of Cape Breton Island.
ALLY HEALTH CLINIC
The Ally Centre of Cape Breton now has a primary health care clinic for people from vulnerable populations. This includes people living with stigmatized illnesses such as HIV, HCV, mental health and substance use disorder, homeless people, people in trouble with the law, women escaping domestic violence, sex trade workers and people from the LGBTQ community; we embrace both youth and adults in all the aforementioned situations.
The reason we are hosting the clinic is because folks in such situations tend not to seek healthcare because they fear being stigmatized or because their life style is often a barrier. We aim to reduce these barriers by providing primary health care services in a known non-judgemental and caring environment.
The ALLY Health Clinic operates each Monday and Thursday. For an appointment please call Tiffany or Christine at 902-567-1766.
The Sharp Advice Needle Exchange (SANE) is one of the many programs offered. The goal is to prevent the spread of blood-borne diseases by providing safe injection equipment and sharps containers for safe disposal of used needles. Along with the available Anonymous Testing and various education programs, we hope to offer more than an ounce of prevention.
ACCB offers a range of public education to schools, workplaces, community organizations and healthcare providers. We are currently offering workshops on topics such as HIV/HCV 101, and Intro to Harm Reduction . We also provide Naloxone training and kits.
The ACCB works toward influencing public policy and government spending to assist its clients and community. They also work to help provide accurate research data, which can then be used to assist in policy decisions. Improving the overall health and well-being of its clients is the goal.
It can be difficult facing discrimination because of your sexual orientation, coping with addiction or living with Hep C or HIV. But the Ally Centre of Cape Breton works to provide support, in the form of supportive counselling, housing support, or just being there when needed. Services offered include a client food bank, support groups, health care, a drop-in centre and more.
Just the Facts
The Ally Centre works to gather research on a number of topics. Below are a list of resources provided wholly or in part by the Ally Centre of Cape Breton.
- Paths Leading Into and Out of Injection Drug Use – This report describes the experiences of individuals who have used drugs by means of injection at some point in their lives. Attention is directed toward not only their circumstances prior to injecting but also the combinations of conditions that led to either increased or decreased drug usage over time.
Read Research > PathsLeadingIntoAndOutOfInjectionDrugUse-October-2017.pdf1.6 MB
- Motives for Meaningful Involvement in Rural AIDS Service Organizations – The research described herein was a three-year exploratory descriptive study to examine how meaningful involvement (MIPA) is conceptualized and experienced in rural regions of the Maritime provinces of Canada.
Read research >
- Social Relationships and Injection Drug Users in Communities across Atlantic Canada (ICAC) – This research explores the social relationships of people who use injection drugs (IDUs) in rural and urban Atlantic Canada.
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- What Are the Challenges and Opportunities to Reducing the Harms for People Who Use Drugs? – We interviewed over 100 injection drug users from across Atlantic Canada, in rural and urban areas. A key finding was that mainstream services (such as emergency rooms and emergency shelters) often do not meet the needs of injection drug users in terms of harm reduction supports (eg. do not provide clean needles).
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- Learning About HIV/AIDS in the Meshwork: The Nature and Value of Indigenous Learning Processes in Community-Based HIV/AIDS Organizations – The objective of this two-year CIHR funded, community-based research project was to understand both the learning processes of community-based HIV/AIDS organizations and the different ways knowledge flows between these organizations and larger, more formal social institutions.
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- Those Who Need the Most Often Receive the Least: A Community Needs Assessment- After over two decades of working closely with and alongside the vulnerable population in Cape Breton on numerous issues the Ally Centre took action and invited community partners around one table to explore opportunities for more effectively addressing the health needs of our most vulnerable populations in the Cape Breton Regional Municipality (CBRM).
Read Research > Outreach-Streetreport-ALLYCENTREAugust2017-fullreportwithcover.pdf
- Injection Drug Use and Health Care Needs Assessments – The objective of the survey described in information release was to better understand health-care practices and needs associated with injection drug use in the Cape Breton Regional Municipality (CBRM).
Read Research > IDU-Health-Practices-Survey-Report-Final.pdf392.40 KB
One Quarter of Canadians infected with HIV are unaware:
Studies estimate that nearly 18,000 Canadians living with HIV are undiagnosed. This represents one quarter of the estimated total number of Canadians living with HIV.
Sharing needles is a real danger:
An estimated 435 new HIV infections in 2011 (14% of new infections) were attributed to injection drug use.