HIV/AIDS in the Cyberspace: World AIDS Day 2020

For the first time in GAAP’s history, we celebrated the annual World AIDS Day event, “HIV/AIDS in the Cyberspace”, online on November 30th, 2020! The Zoom event was fantastic, thanks to our collaborators: Toronto’s Sexual Education Centre (SEC), Sexual Education by Theatre (SExT), and Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research (CANFAR). Students from the first year Women and Gender Studies class attended the event, and their participation and enthusiasm were key to its success.

The event began with music and activities followed by a quick round of ice breakers facilitated by our wonderful student committee members. Afterwards, SEC gave a short presentation about the services and resources they offer as well as a quick round of safer sex supplies trivia. The youth-led, Scarborough-based theatre group, SExT then gave a hilarious and informative virtual performance that blended sexual education with popular music and characters.

The concluding workshop on HIV stigma, facilitated by sexual justice advocate and educator Ray Baran, included important concepts like U=U and protection. Through breakout rooms and discussions in the chat, Ray engaged students in nuanced perspectives about HIV/AIDS. We finished the night with a round of Kahoot trivia about sexual health and HIV.

The poster was designed by Alexander Bogatch and Vibhuti Kacholia. It illustrates a retro gaming aesthetic, with a computer displaying the red ribbon, the universal symbol for the fight against HIV. The background features the planets and stars suspended in space.

The World AIDS Day 2021 was organized by Vibhuti Kacholia, Community Engaged Learning student.