WHAI is a community-based response to HIV and AIDS among cis and trans women in Ontario that takes into account the structural and societal factors that increase women’s risk factors for HIV. This initiative, located in 16 AIDS Service Organizations (ASOs) throughout the province, is funded by the AIDS Bureau of the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care.

The goals of WHAI are to:

  • Reduce HIV transmission among women.
  • Enhance local community capacity to address HIV and AIDS.
  • Build safe environments to support women and their HIV and AIDS-related needs.

WHAI’s objective is to strengthen the capacity of communities to support women living with and/or affected by HIV and AIDS.

WHAI achieves its goals and objective through:

  • Raising awareness and informing local community organizations and groups that work with women about HIV and AIDS and the need for women’s HIV-related services.
  • Working with local community organizations and groups to promote the integration of HIV and AIDS into their current programs, services, and policies/procedures.
  • Working with staff at community organizations to build their knowledge and capacity to respond to women’s HIV and AIDS -related needs.

How does WHAI work?

Ontario women’s vulnerability to HIV is greatly increased by social factors and lack of access and support. Therefore, WHAI works to strengthen communities’ responses to addressing these factors and supporting and meeting the needs of women by:

  • Partnering with local community organizations to increase their capacity to respond to women’s HIV and AIDS -related needs.
  • Providing consultation and advice to local organizations, as requested.
  • Facilitating or leading local initiatives to serve as a catalyst for the integration of HIV and AIDS into programs and planning.
  • Providing women and HIV and AIDS-related information to service providers in the community, at local community events, forums or conferences.
  • Distributing resource material and other HIV prevention tools (safer sex materials, information, condoms, etc.) to community agencies serving women.
  • Providing HIV-related referrals to local community organizations and strengthens the relationship between the local HIV sector and other women-serving sectors.

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