Nick Boyce - Director
Nick Boyce obtained a B.Sc. in Psychology from Dalhousie University. In 1999, while working at Canadian Blood Services, he became a trained volunteer with the TRIP! Project. In this capacity, he provided safer sex and safer drug use information and supplies to people in Toronto’s rave and nightclub scenes. Subsequently, he worked with the AIDS Committee of Toronto, as the Gay Men’s Harm Reduction Coordinator and was actively involved with the ‘Toronto Gay / Bisexual Men’s Crystal Meth Task Force’. Prior to his current role as Director for the Ontario HIV and Substance Use Training Program, he spent a two years as the Provincial Trainer. For a number of years was Chair of the community grant review panel for the City of Toronto’s ‘Drug Prevention Community Investment Program’, is past Vice President of the Board for Addictions and Mental Health Ontario, and is a member of the Research Group on Drug Use – Toronto (RGDU).
CC Sapp - Co-Director
CC Sapp has worked in the HIV and Harm Reduction field for over 15 years. He started out in his career creating workshops around leadership, advocacy, and anti-oppression. CC quickly moved into the field of HIV, formerly running a peer education program around HIV prevention, substance use, and harm reduction. He then became a program manager with the National Native American AIDS Prevention Centre where he provided workshops to First Nations communities around HIV Prevention. Moving to Toronto, he grew his portfolio by providing trainings on sexuality, gender, active listening, sex education, and diversity. CC has also worked as a consultant to many nonprofits, is an excellent baker, and brings his humour and life experiences with him to every training he facilitates. CC serves on the Toronto Drug Strategy Working Group, the Addictions and Mental Health Ontario Conference Planning Committee, and has been featured as a plenary speaker at several conferences throughout the province.
A critical component to OHSUTP training is hearing from people with lived experience of HIV. In the majority of our workshops, and in the development of our training materials, we involve people living with HIV. They balance the technical information with their insights, wisdom and experiences.
Ben Ward is a hearing, HIV+, front line, Community Engagement Worker from Toronto. Since his diagnosis in 2006, he has advocated to reduce the the stigma and discrimination associated with this chronic yet very manageable disease. Ben ascribes to the Ontario Accord (Greater / Meaningful Involvement / Engagement of People living with HIV/AIDS) or the GIPA / MEPA principal and for the past eight years, has worked and volunteered within multiple AIDS service and deaf service organisations. While empowering individuals to improve their own quality of life, he has successfully worked with PHA's experiencing: homelessness, mental health challenges, poverty and substance use. He is very honoured to be given the opportunity to continue engaging with community members and is looking forward to working with those infected and affected by these issues. Please feel free to chat with him in English or American Sign Language (A.S.L).
Colleen Price resides in Ottawa and is trained in Psychology, Sociology and as a Social Service Worker. A survivor of trauma, addictions, Hepatitis C and HIV, Colleen is a committed advocate for testing, access to treatment, care and support for people living co-infected with HIV and Hep C. She also advocates that harm reduction, mental health and peer support services become part of integrated whole health care for all people living with HIV.
Through her involvement in the Canadian Treatment Action Council (CTAC) as Board Secretary and Chair of the CTAC Hepatitis and HIV Working Group, Colleen is actively involved in the development of HIV co-infection programs, research and policy.
“I treasure my involvement with the Ontario HIV Substance Use Training Program. I am able to fully engage myself and share my experiences with frontline, support workers and others that care for us. For each workshop, there are 1-2 people with lived experiences of HIV and substance use assisting the facilitator with our combined knowledge and experiences. I enjoy working in tandem with my peer, my friend, Andre in this program. I like the energy and synergy of the workshops and feel we make a difference.”
Donald comes from a Métis background of Blackfeet Nation / Black Canadian, His life journey has led him to embrace his Native Spirituality. Donald identifies himself as a Métis 2-spirited person. Being a long-term HIV + survivor of 20 plus years he has realized sharing some of his life’s journey may help others. Donald has been trained as a Medicine Wheel facilitator as well as in other healing modalities. He is a member of the National Aboriginal Hepatitis C Council and is currently a Regional Facilitator of the AIDS Bereavement Resiliency Project of Ontario, and Lead facilitator for Medicine Wheel Spirit Shadow Dance. Donald feels very strongly that his Native teachings and spirituality along with Western medicine is the right combination for him to have balance and harmony. Donald spends his time giving talks and running emotional healing workshops with the teachings of the Medicine Wheel and Sacred Tree around Canada.
I am from London, Ontario. I was diagnosed with HIV in June of 1997 and at present have an undetectable viral load. When The Regional HIV/AIDS Connection (formerly known as The AIDS Committee of London) was formed 25 years ago, I volunteered as a mentor to those who were suffering from HIV/AIDS. In those days we were just a listening ear or a good friend to those suffering. In the drop in centre, I helped with baking and cooking meals. As time went by I helped in the early AIDS walk to raise funds for HIV/AIDS awareness. I continued to serve when The Regional HIV/AIDS Connection (RHAC) moved to a new location, putting in hours every day of the week in putting Harm Reduction Kits together. The agency asked me to be the Harm Reduction Kit Volunteer Co-ordinator. It is my responsibility to insure our Harm Reduction Site is fully stocked. On Monday and Wednesday afternoon myself, along with other volunteers, assemble these kits. I also take stock of supplies needed and report to The RHAC Harm reduction Co-ordinator. At the Annual General Meeting in September of 2010 my name was entered on RHAC’s Honour Roll for my service to the agency. For the past 14 years I have had the privilege of being on staff at Camp Wendake. This camp is for adults, families, children and caregivers who are HIV +. For the past 2 years I have also served on the Governance Board of Camp Wendake.
This Board ensures that the camp’s mission is carried out and the guidelines the Board has mandated is fully complied with. In 2008, I was the guest speaker at Camp Wendake’s Gala and have volunteered every year when we present one.
Jack has been co-infected with HIV/HEPC since 1994. He self-identifies as a 2 spirited Métis man. Jack successfully completed Traditional Aboriginal Healing Methods a Native Community Worker Diploma Program from St. Clair College and is currently a Medicine Wheel Healing Map Facilitator. Jack has completed all 3 levels of the Ontario AIDS Network (OAN) Leadership program as well as the Facilitator Training Programs offered through the AIDS Bereavement and Resiliency Project and the OAN. He had been on Methadone Maintenance Therapy and successfully transitioned off after a period of 5 years, with minimal support or any Provincial Exit strategy. Jack became involved with Opiate project through CAMH. Jack presently sits in the Role of a Director in the Chatham Kent Drug Awareness Council which has morphed out of our Municipal Drug Strategy. Jack is also the Chair of the Harm Reduction pillar in this initiative. Jack works with the Canadian Treatment Action Councils Aboriginal Working Group on HIV/HEP C. He is co-founder of the Opiate Sharing Circle as a community response to prescription addiction for all people living on and off reserve in his home community.
Born in Toronto, I lived most of my youth in the Jane and Finch area. Having a very liberal mother and the privilege of my area, I was encouraged to and learned from the different cultures, languages, and religions of our neighbours. I married young and am proud to say that I am a father of two young men. Their mother and I have divorced but still remain friends to this date.
When I was 22 I was diagnosed with type II Hodgkin’s disease (cancer of the immune system). At 30 I was diagnosed with HIV and Hepatitis B. At 33 I was diagnosed with Bowen’s disease (skin cancer) and then Hypothyroidism. At 35 I suffered a massive heart attack and then was told I am also diabetic.
In November 2005, I started volunteering at the Toronto People with AIDS (PWA) Foundation’s food bank. Through this volunteering I was connected with the Ontario AIDS Network (OAN) Leadership Development Program Level I in February 2007. This program gave me the tools and skills to realize that I could do much more with my life and it has started me on a whole new life. I have since then graduated from this program, and also the facilitator training from the OAN/AIDS Bereavement and Resiliency Project of Ontario. Currently I volunteering as part of an intake team getting new clients connected with PWA. I am Co-chair of the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) action coalition, which is calling on the Ontario government to address the ODSP. I co-facilitate a harm reduction group for HIV+ substance users. Besides being a public speaker, I also perform outreach, and co-facilitate a training program on HIV, STI’s and STD’s, and the harm reduction method. One of my greatest achievements is co-creating the Peer Leaders group at PWA, as it is a way we are fulfilling the United Nations Greater Involvement of People with HIV/AIDS principal.
The reason why I am working with these training programs is because of a proverb “To save the life of one person is to save the whole world”. With the stigma still attached to HIV, many people don’t want to talk about this disease until it affects them in their own personal life. I would rather your conscious mind be infected with information about HIV, than for you to be infected with HIV!”
I was diagnosed HIV positive in 2002. It took me a long time to face this reality. I was probably exposed to the virus much earlier. I was a bisexual sex worker in Southern Ontario for most of the nineties. I held no self-worth. I felt I deserved nothing as I was worth less than nothing. Short of injecting, I indulged in every mind altering substance in existence. I had multiple sex partners and my condom use was haphazard at best. I was on a suicidal trajectory. I kept my HIV a secret from everyone. I would not even see a doctor, and I never went on treatment. I was terrified. Eventually, it all caught up with me and I was forced in early 2004 to return to the home of my youth, North Bay, Ontario to stay with my now deceased mother. From 2004 to 2007 I went through a hellish nightmare as I finally faced the consequences of my past. Nevertheless I have emerged a changed man. My purpose in life from here to my grave will be in fighting HIV/AIDS and ending the stigma associated with it. I want my life experiences to count for something good. I want to help others who may be going through what I did before I became honest with myself and others about HIV/AIDS. Every single life has worth in this world, even mine. I am no longer afraid of HIV. I will do all I can within my ability to end HIV stigma. Gandhi put it best: “Be the change you want to see in the world.”
I have been a volunteer for the AIDS Committee of North Bay and Area since 2004. In 2006, I earned my Ontario Secondary School Diploma at the age of 36 through Acheron College. I was valedictorian of my class, graduating with a 97% overall average. I volunteered for Frontier College from 2006 – 2007 teaching basic English literacy skills to some of the most marginalized populations. I am currently a board member of the AIDS Committee of North Bay and Area since 2007, serving as both PHA representative and Advocacy representative. I have been working as a peer research assistant for the Ontario HIV Treatment Network covering Northern Ontario, from Huntsville to Thunder Bay since 2008. I have been a member of the Canadian Prison Advocacy and Outreach Coalition since 2011. I am also a round-table member of the Public Health Agency of Canada’s Status Report on HIV in Prison since 2010. In addition to my work in HIV/AIDS, I am also a full-time student at Nipissing University where I am nearing completion of an Honours degree with distinction in Gender Equality and Social Justice with a minor in Sociology. My area of specialization is HIV/AIDS, GIPA/MIPA and anti-oppression. I have done a number of public speaking engagements sharing my story of my life with HIV. I was honoured that I was invited to participate in the Ontario HIV and Substance Use workshop speaking as a person with lived experience.
Born in the Netherlands, I came to Canada in 1965. At that time a job was easy to get and as a tradesman I started to work as a bread and pastry baker. After having done that for about 20 years it was time for a change. I still kept working but started as a part-time student in 1975 at Guelph University. There I started my studies in food science and received my Bachelor of Arts in 1981. Shortly after that I started to work for Pillsbury Bakeries until my retirement in 2003.
Being diagnosed in 1981 as HIV positive, I have been active for many years in the HIV movement. As a volunteer I keep myself busy going to PHAN (Peel HIV/AIDS Network) working in the office. I’m on the board of my local church, helping at the food bank, and helping with a breakfast program for underprivileged children. I am the chair of the Opening Door Conference and Chair of the Church Festival Fair. I have done many public speaks about my life’s story and HIV. Helping other people gives me joy and great satisfaction.