There are several peer programs in Saskatchewan. Each program is unique and is created with input and guidance from its peer members.
There are two types of peer programs:
- Support groups that are open to all people living with HIV.
- Peer-to-Peer programs that match a peer mentor living with HIV with another person living with HIV (also known as a “mentee”).
Purpose of Peer-to-Peer Programs
The peer-to-peer program provides a unique link for newly diagnosed HIV-positive individuals, those who are admitted to hospital, and others who are living with HIV. The Peer Mentor role is supportive.
Peer Program Goals
Supporting those living with HIV to:
- Seek health care earlier and more often
- Improve and maintain physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual well being
- Reduce spread of HIV infection
- Reduce stigma and discrimination
Peer Programs and Support Groups in Saskatchewan
Prince Albert Peer Project
- Location: Access Place – Sexual Health Clinic, #3 101-15th Street East, Prince Albert
Hours of operation: Monday to Friday 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. & 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. (closed over the lunch hour). Open some evenings & and weekends.
- Phone number: (306) 960-4157
- Contact: Barb Bowditch, Outreach Care Navigator
People Living With AIDS (PLWA) Network of Saskatchewan
Weekly group meetings for all people living with HIV.
- Location: PLWA Drop-in Centre, 127 Avenue D North, Saskatoon
- Hours of operation: Wednesdays from 12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
- Phone number: (306) 373-7766
Hospital visits, community visits, and one-on-one supports for all people living with HIV.
- Phone number: (306) 373-7766
- Contact: Laurie, Wellness Coordinator
HIV Peer Mentors
The following information and definitions were created by members of the Regina Peer-to-Peer Program and was taken with permission from their program brochure.
Peer Mentors are trained members of the community who are living with HIV and provide support to others who are learning to cope with the daily challenges of living with HIV.
- Provide information
- Bridge the gap with health care providers
- Connect newly diagnosed individuals to community resources
- Help people living with HIV find their way in the health care system
- Support and encourage harm reduction
- Support overall health and well-being
- Share their own experience about how to live with HIV
- Listen to concerns and fears
- Model self-care
- Maintain client confidentiality
- Help people cope with daily struggles in a healthy way
- Create a positive space
Mentees are people living with HIV who may be newly diagnosed or in the hospital, may not engaged in care, or may require tailored support. Mentors can offer them support.
A match between the mentor and mentee is made by taking into account:
- Life experiences
- Mentee personal preference
Community Based Organizations
The following is a list of community based organizations that deliver programming and services to those affected by HIV/HCV or those at risk of acquiring HIV.
- Research Based – Province Wide
Harm Reduction Programs
Harm Reduction Programs are part of a comprehensive public health disease prevention strategy to reduce the spread of HIV, HCV, and other sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections.
Providing equipment and supplies to people who use illicit drugs is one of the simplest, most effective means to reduce the spread of these diseases. The distribution of supplies is intended to reduce the sharing of used needles/syringes and other injecting equipment, safer inhalation supplies, and encourage safer sexual practices. Harm Reduction Programs also serve as an important means of connecting with clients and engaging them in care.
HIV Telephone Hotline
Want to talk with someone? AIDS Saskatoon and the 601 Outreach Centre have a free HIV hotline that doesn’t charge you long distance or cell phone minutes in Western Canada (Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia). Call the number below to get answers to your questions about HIV.