Here’s a look at what’s been happening around Nine Circles lately:
MPs Visit Nine Circles to talk about Meth
On April 3, six Members of Parliament visited Nine Circles to hear about our work and discuss our experiences with crystal meth and how it impacts the community and our services. It was a great opportunity to share what we’re seeing on the front lines, talk about the role of harm reduction in our work, and share our perspectives on how the health system and our society can improve our collective response to people who use drugs, without feeding into fear and perpetuating stigma. The Members of Parliament in attendance were, Bill Casey, Cumberland, N.S.; Marilyn Gladu, Sarnia-Lambton, ON.; Don Davies, Vancouver, B.C.; Doug Eyolfson, Charleswood-St.James-Assiniboia-Headingley, MB.; Sonia Sidhu, Brampton South, ON.; Len Webber, Calgary, AB, Robert-Falcon Ouellette, Winnipeg Centre, MB.
Nine Circles Receives Condom Donation from Artist Ildiko Nova
Local artist Ildiko Nova recently won an honourary mention for her condom package design in a contest for ONE Condoms. As part of her prize, she had the opportunity to donate 5000 condoms to the non-profit of her choice and she thought Nine Circles would be a good choice for distribution. We are honoured that she chose us as the beneficiary of her prize and it was so lovely to meet her and find out about her work and connections to the community. We’ll put the donation to good use, as the majority of the condoms will be distributed though our community workshops facilitated by our health educators. Condoms with Ildiko’s design will be printed this summer. Check out her work here.
Nine Circles at Pride
Nine Circles has partnered with a national team, led by the Canadian Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity, in bringing the Pozitivity campaign to Pride Festivals across the country, including Winnipeg. We’ll be sharing space with the Centre during the Festival at the Forks on June 1 & 2, and will be encouraging Pride attendees to sign an anti-HIV Stigma pledge, participate in a stigma-challenging art project and pose in our photo booth with prevention messaging. Our shared booth will also include resources on PEP, PrEP, and U=U. Nine Circles’ Lived Experience Advisory has had an opportunity to comment on messaging, and a series of focus groups happened across the country as well. Stop by our booth during Pride and do your part to slay HIV stigma! A few days before the Festival at the Forks, we’ll also be supporting a lived experience panel on HIV stigma and will celebrate with those who sign the anti-stigma pledge at a fall Drag performance. More info on those events coming soon.
Harm Reduction in Community Health Project
Nine Circles is championing a harm reduction project for the Manitoba Association of Community Health (MACH) that will support capacity building and program development within each of the 12 partner agencies. Overall, the goal is to reduce stigma towards people who use drugs, support harm-reduction-rooted service delivery, and where possible, expanded access to needle distribution programs. The leadership committee is comprised of people from Nine Circles, Aboriginal Health and Wellness, Hope Centre, Klinic, Mount Carmel, and Women’s Health Clinic. SERC will lead the evaluation for the project.
eConsult Manitoba Set to Enter Second Phase
Manitoba Health (MHSAL) has agreed to support the next phase of the eConsult project that Nine Circles and the Manitoba HIV Program have been leading over the last year. This funding, combined with funding from our national eConsult partners, will allow us to begin scaling up the initiative with the goal of transitioning the resource from Nine Circles to a new home in the future. This year will give Shared Services and MHSAL some time to work through where that home may be. For more information on eConsult Manitoba, check out this video.