The BC Aboriginal HIV/AIDS Task Force was established in 1996 to bring together on and off reserve organizations and projects dealing with HIV/AIDS. The Task Force worked to increase the network of those living with HIV/AIDS, the professionals working in the field and those who have an interest in addressing HIV/AIDS in their community. One of the primary achievements of the Task Force has been the development and implementation of the Red Road: Pathways to Wholeness, An Aboriginal Strategy for HIV and AIDS in BC.
The Strategy, which was officially launched on February 1, 1999, is a pathway to increase the quality of life of all Aboriginal people. This is accomplished by respecting and integrating the traditional and cultural values and beliefs of individuals, families and communities. The Strategy supports the use of those traditions in the treatment of HIV/AIDS in Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities. The Strategy contains 50 recommendations to address Aboriginal HIV/AIDS in BC (click here to view Pathways to Wholeness).
An integral component of the implementation of the Strategy is the creation of the Red Road HIV/AIDS Network (RRHAN) which incorporated on May 7, 1999. The purpose of the Network is to:
- reduce or prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS
- improve the health and wellness of Aboriginal people living with HIV/AIDS
- increase awareness about HIV/AIDS and establish a network which supports the development and delivery of culturally appropriate, innovative, coordinated, accessible, inclusive and accountable HIV/AIDS programs and services
RRHAN is one of three provincially-based Aboriginal organizations (Healing Our Spirit BC Aboriginal HIV/AIDS Society and Chee Mamuk). Our past work has included, but not limited to:
- Development of resource directories and guidebooks
- Hosted and co-hosted numerous workshops and conferences to discuss current issues relating to HIV/AIDS
- Developed Canada's first full-colored magazine highlighting the HIV/AIDS epidemic amongst the Aboriginal population
- Utilized mapping and GIS technology to visually represent services available for APHA's in BC