With grant provided by ViiV, MAX introduces program to deliver safer partying education and awareness among guys who are into guys
OTTAWA, July 12, 2018 /CNW/ - Today, MAX Ottawa, with funding from ViiV Healthcare Canada, launched "Spill the Tea", a new health and wellness intervention for gay, bisexual, two-spirit, queer and other guys who are into guys, whether cis or trans (GBT2Q) in the Ottawa region. This program will be supported through ViiV Healthcare's Positive Partnership grant program.
MAX marked the new partnership and the year-long campaign through packing 1000 condom kits during an event with local VIPs, ViiV staff members and volunteers.
"Spill the Tea will provide safer partying education and awareness and getting guys into guys in the Ottawa region connected to information and resources," said Roberto Ortiz, Executive Director of MAX Ottawa. "The goal of Spill the Tea is to open conversations and decrease stigma around the use of drugs while partying and highlight the importance of STI testing and peer support for guys into guys."
There are many ways guys into guys party and connect with each other: bars, apps, sports, activism, sex, drugs. However, because of the stigma that exists around drugs and sex, there is a huge barrier to having open discussions about party and play in these communities. Spill the Tea will help address these barriers by hosting four events throughout the year at local social venues with Ottawa-based and international drag queens to provide a fun and safe environment for effective outreach.
"We're excited to work with MAX Ottawa on this new program that champions improved health outcomes for guys who are into guys in the Ottawa area, whether they are living with HIV or not," said Sara Leclerc, General Manager of ViiV Healthcare Canada. "Spill the Tea, is a model for HIV prevention and support programs in Ottawa."
The kickoff event for the Spill the Tea Campaign in partnership with Capital Pride will take place on August 23rd at 10 PM at the 27 Club (27 York St). It will feature the well-known drag queen, Shea Couleé, a Top-four contestant from Season 9 of RuPaul's Drag Race.
"Spill the Tea is a year-long conversation to help build safer partying awareness," concluded Ortiz. "These are important conversations, but, as we'll see at the kickoff event, we can have fun while having them."
About MAX Ottawa
MAX Ottawa is a community-based organization that focuses on maximising the health and wellness of gay, bisexual, two-spirit, queer and other guys who are into guys, whether cis or trans (GBT2Q) by educating, addressing disparities in health outcomes, and delivering activities to support health and wellbeing. Formerly known as the Ottawa Gay Men's Wellness Initiative, MAX is proud to be the first stand-alone GBT2Q men's health organization in Ontario.
About ViiV Healthcare Canada
ViiV Healthcare is the only company 100% dedicated to developing HIV treatments to continue the fight against HIV/AIDS and ultimately improve the health of those whose lives are touched by the virus. Learn more about ViiV Healthcare and how we are supporting the HIV/AIDS community at www.viivhealthcare.ca.
SOURCE MAX Ottawa
For further information: Roberto Ortiz, Executive Director, MAX, O: 613-440-3237, [email protected]; Emily Gale, ViiV Healthcare Canada Public Affairs, O: 613-233-8906, C: 902-599-2059, [email protected]