This page documents the history of AIDS organizations in Halifax and Nova Scotia.
Detailed histories by ChrisAucoin:
- 2020 presentation speaking notes (pdf, 11 pages; the .docx is also available)
- November, 2022 presentation at Wonder'neath Halifax speaking notes (pdf, 12 pages; the .docx is also available)
Overview Of Organizations
- the Gay Men’s Health Association of Halifax was created - the story of its creation is in ScottMacNeil's ReflectionsInAMirrorBall.
- the GHA becomes the Metro Area Committee on AIDS (MacAIDS). It was incorporated late the next year.
- A year later, MacAIDS expanded provincially and changed its name to AIDS Nova Scotia (ANS).
- the Nova Scotia Persons with AIDS Coalition (NSPWAC) was created to provide advocacy and support for PHAs (People living with HIV and AIDS).
- ANS and the NSPWAC amalgamated into the AIDS Coalition in response to government regulations saying there could only be one federally backed AIDS organization in the province.
Here are some significant dates and events of the HIV/AIDS movement in Nova Scotia
- GaetanDugas was a resident of Metro Halifax from 1978-1982, and later gained notoriety as the first reported North American AIDS case, called Patient Zero
- Increasing outbreaks of uncommon pneumonia, cancers and other ailments among homosexual men in both Los Angeles & New York City causing doctors to become alarmed
- It is dubbed 'gay plague' and referred to as Gay Related Immune Deficiency (GRID)
- Outbreaks are re-named Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome or AIDS
- Transmission is linked to blood.
- First Canadian AIDS case is reported to the federal government.
- Gay Men's Health Association of Halifax forms
- Transmission is linked to sex
- American & French scientists discover the virus associated with AIDS; it is latter dubbed Human Immunodeficiency Virus or HIV
- November 28, 1985 MacAIDS is incorporated
A small group of HIV positive gay men begin to gather in a Halifax kitchen seeking personal and emotional support
- A test is developed to show the presence of HIV
- Canadian Red Cross begins screening blood in November
- MacAIDS takes on a provincial focus and becomes AIDS Nova Scotia
- First Canadian AIDS Society Annual General meeting
- MacAIDS launches its Get It Undercover campaign
- Teacher EricSmith is diagnosed
- A medication known as AZT receives approval as a treatment for AIDS.
- EricSmith goes public with his story after being removed from his teaching position by the government as it bowed to public pressure
- Nova Scotia Persons With AIDS Coalition (NSPWAC) is formed with its focus on support and advocacy
- Nova Scotia Task Force on AIDS is formed
- at the Canadian Conference on AIDS in Toronto, community groups organized to demonstrate lack of federal leadership which would lead to the development of a National AIDS Strategy
- First AIDS Vigil is held in Halifax.
- First Bid For Life Fundraising Auction is held.
- We have a poster by BarendKamperman on file. The poster and his story are here.
- First phase of National AIDS strategy is announced
- National Advisory Commission on AIDS (N.A.C.AIDS) is formed
- NSPWAC receives federal funding and opens its Halifax office on Gottingen Street
- First Names Project display in Nova Scotia
- NovaScotiaAdvisoryCommissionOnAIDS is formed
- A needle exchange begins at NSPWAC
- Valley AIDS Concern Group is formed
- Pictou County Women's Centre sponsors a Women and AIDS Project
- First Atlantic AIDS Network meeting held
- SteppingStone launches HIV/AIDS outreach program
- World Health Organization (WHO) reports that 10,000,000 people are HIV-positive
- Black Outreach Project is formed, funded and begins consultation process
- Pictou county AIDS Coalition is formed
- AIDS Coalition of Cape Breton is formed
- NS Provincial AIDS Counseling and Support Conference takes place at Oak Island
- November 30, 1991: on the Eve of World AIDS Day, local resident RandyConners and his wife JanetConners go public with their story of how Randy, a hemophiliac, became infected through receiving tainted blood
- Announcement of Women and AIDS Project is made on World AIDS Day
- The Men's Project is funded for a year.
- NS Women and AIDS Project receives funding
- George Moody announces approval for compensation funding making Nova Scotia the first province in Canada to compensate recipients of tainted blood
- Nova Scotia becomes the first place in the world to approve and compensate persons secondarily infected
- Global Network of PHAs (GNP) is formed
- Nova Scotia Strategy on AIDS is formed
- Canadian AIDS Society Annual General Meeting is held in Halifax
- The Men's Project is not funded.
- WHO predicts that an estimated 40,000,000 persons will be infected by the year 2000
- National AIDS Strategy - Phase II is announced
- JanetConners & RandyConners receive Human Rights Award - Oct. 29th
- Federal Government slashes funding and announces that, in Nova Scotia, only one provincial AIDS organization will be funded
- The Men's Project is funded for another year.
- Anonymous Testing begins in Halifax
- AIDS Nova Scotia (ANS) and NSPWAC move into the same office in September to begin the amalgamation process
- The Survival Training Program begins its research action project
- TerryMartin, long-time NSPWAC board member and educator dies
- GrantMacNeil?, long-time board member of ANS dies
- RandyConners, Dartmouth hemophiliac activist for a safe blood supply and compensation, dies
- The Men's Project Outreach Crew is formed, headed by NedMacInnis?, providing outreach to MSM in cruising areas.
- Canadian developed drug 3TC is approved as an AIDS treatment
- Combination Therapy is considered the current method of treatment
- Introduction of protease inhibitor drugs begin to show promising results in viral suppression
- Researched based Survival Training Project funded for a second phase
- Gay and Positive Men's Group (GAP Men) forms
- Names Project display in Pictou County takes place
- ANS and NSPWAC amalgamate to form ACNS on July 6, 1995
- WilsonHodder launches his court challenge for same-sex spousal benefits
- The Men's Project is renamed the Men'Sex Project and takes on a bold new image under the direction of James Shedden.
- 1.3 million persons have full blown AIDS (18,000 of whom are Canadian)
- 4.5 million have died globally
- Survival Training Project begins its second phase-renamed the Art of Positive Living Program
- The Atlantic Regional Treatment Information Project begins
- Gay Men and Alcohol Project (GMAP) commences
- Community AIDS Treatment Information Exchange (CATIE) launches its internet site the network in May
- International Conference on AIDS announces approval of protease inhibitors as standard AIDS therapy
- By March, CATIE had delivered over 250,000 documents from its Internet site
- ACAP funds next phase of Men's Project and the third phase of the Women and AIDS Project
- ACNS begins its advocacy campaign for a third phase of the National AIDS Strategy. During the federal election, funding for this third phase was announced
- Phase III of the National AIDS Strategy begins
- May 26, 1998 ACNS chairperson WilsonHodder wins his court challenge to secure same-sex spousal benefits after the loss of his partner, TerryMartin, to AIDS
- WHO release its latest predictions that by the year 2000...10,000,000 people will have AIDS and 40,000,000 will be HIV positive
- Health Canada announces that future AIDS funding is to be 'A-based'
- The Men's Project is funded for it's final year.
- WilsonHodder dies peacefully in his home
- The List of Names is growing shorter
- ACNS prepares to receive a $30,000.00 cut in its federal funding from Health Canada
2002 & on...
- November: Moved to 1668 Barrington Street
- November: Long-time gay men's health coordinator ChrisAucoin becomes Executive Director.
HistoryProjectTodoList: this page and the AIDSCoalition page need to get factored out