Late this November, GAAP partnered up with Empower, Central Toronto Community Health Centre, and the Sexual Education Centre University of Toronto (SEC) to set up a fun and informative event for World AIDS Day.
The night started off with guests, from the University of Toronto and the community, enjoying a hearty meal from Fabarnak, a restaurant located at 519 Church Street Community Centre. While the guests dined, they partook in a game of Sexy Bingo! “What are your top three strategies for talking about harm reduction?” “What colour is your underwear?” These were some of the questions on the bingo sheet – questions meant to help participants break the ice while easing them into an atmosphere that was both informative and sex positive. After the game was finished, bingo winners received gift certificates to Come As You Are.
Once dinner was finished, the Empower Youth Mentors, Lydia Hernandez and Greg Khaymov, began their HIV/AIDS workshop. After another fun Ice Breaker, 1 truth and 1 lie, the Empower Youth Mentors began the first part of their workshop. In this phase, Lydia and Greg spoke about the difference between HIV and AIDS, the 5 fluids, routes of entry, the transmission equation, and ended this phase by enlisting participants to help with a fun game of safer sex-y pictionary!
The second phase of the workshop included a discussion of harm reduction. Here, the Empower Youth Mentors did sexy condom demos, the female condom and male condom, and sexy dental dam demos! During this time, Lydia and Greg also took on the role of Myth busters as they unravelled the many falsehoods surrounding HIV/AIDS. Next, they spoke about the politics of testing and confidentiality, how testing works, and offered info sheets that listed clinics in Toronto that offers HIV testing. To finish this phase, Lydia and Greg started a discussion about disclosure and personal choice and the social determinants of health and HIV/AIDS.
The third phase of the workshop had participants leaping out of their chair as they happily decorated the delicious cupcakes, sexy decorations of course, that Lydia baked! Click here to see photos of those amazing cupcakes!
After the participants got their full of sweetness, they settled down as Dylan from SEC spoke about the resources that are available to youth at U of T. After participants engaged in an open discussion about sex and HIV/AIDS, everyone went home with a grab bag filled with an assortment of condoms, lube, and dental dams.