2016 AccolAIDS Award Winners

Congratulations to all nominees and winners of the 2016 AccolAIDS Awards Gala!

Social/Political/Community Action Award

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This award is presented to the individual, organization, group, institution or business that undertakes an initiative that has resulted in a change of public policy or process to the benefit of individuals and/or communities affected by HIV/AIDS.

Paul Harris

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Paul Harris has worked in HIV care since 1987, at St. Paul’s Hospital and then as a BCCDC outreach nurse. He has provided sexual health care and education to gay men and MSM, particularly in marginalized populations, with a focus on HIV and STIs. He has been at the forefront of bringing testing to those who need it, providing invaluable support to those diagnosed. He helped make NPEP available to those at highest risk for HIV. He has collaborated in research projects including Positive Prevention, NAT (viral) testing for HIV and online outreach to gay men.

Science/Research/Technology Award

This award recognizes achievements in the areas of research, technology, traditional or complementary treatments and/or the application of such advances in clinical practice that have improved the lives or circumstances of people living with HIV/AIDS.

Dr. Robert Hogg

Dr. Robert Hogg has been working in the field of HIV/AIDS since the early 90s. He is an SFU professor and a Senior Research Scientist in the Epidemiology and Population Health Program at the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS. His work has directly impacted policy and programs that have reduced HIV-associated morbidity and mortality and improved the quality of life for people living with HIV. His many studies include ENGAGE, CHIWOS, and LISA. He frequently works with community-based organizations. Many HIV-focused scientists have benefited from his training.

Innovative Policy, Programs and Services Award

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This award acknowledges HIV/AIDS-specific or related policy, programs or services which demonstrate a unique, progressive, empowering and/or creative approach to individual or community health promotion and assisting people affected by HIV/AIDS. From policy to service delivery, innovation in access to and levels of service, harm reduction approaches and/or quality of service or programs contribute to their overall success and reflect an understanding of the current and changing nature of the HIV epidemic.

Sangam (tie)

Sangam has been a support worker and educator at Positive Women’s Network since 1998, offering respectful care to women living with HIV in communities throughout BC. She has facilitated hundreds of interactive and accessible workshops on HIV and hepatitis C for service providers, and provided support at over 30 wellness retreats for women living with HIV. She has mentored community members, including staff at Positive Women’s Network and YouthCO, and presented on HIV-related topics at multiple conferences.

Yúusnewas (tie)

Yúusnewas is an Indigenous peer-led education program within YouthCO that is run by and for youth. It has been innovative in addressing the need for a culturally responsive and sex-positive approach to discussing healthy sexuality with Indigenous youth across BC in urban and rural communities. Program outreach educators travel to Indigenous communities across BC to facilitate workshops on HIV, sexual well-being, healthy relationships, communications, consent, and contraception. Yúusnewas empowers youth to take back their health into their own hands.

Philanthropy Award

This award recognizes a voluntary charitable initiative, individual, group, institution or business that is motivated by a commitment to human welfare and contributes time, resources and/or financial support to advance a specific cause.

Fred Lee

Fred Lee gives his time as a tireless volunteer for countless BC charities, particularly HIV/AIDS and LGBTQ initiatives, including AIDS Vancouver, YouthCO, Dr. Peter Centre and Positive Living Society of BC. He brings awareness and continued relevance to the HIV/AIDS cause through his engaging style as an MC, auctioneer, broadcaster and writer. He takes the time to understand the work and needs of the organizations. Fred participates in their fundraisers, and initiates his own. They include UBC’s CampOUT, Celebrity Dim Sum, and Fashioning Cancer.

Kevin Brown Positive Hero Award

PositiveLivingBC-logoThis award has been established in memory of one of Positive Living BC’s founding members and the first Chair of the Board of Directors. It is presented to an individual living with HIV/AIDS who is regarded with great admiration and respect for his/her contributions to the HIV/AIDS movement.

Kecia Larkin

Kecia Larkin was diagnosed with HIV at 18 and became one of the first Aboriginal women in Canada to disclose her HIV status. She has been anchor, advocate, and poster child for the Indigenous HIV/AIDS movement. Her work has included peer support, outreach, Community Based Research, development of the first Aboriginal Women’s AIDS strategy in Canada, and roles with Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network, Red Road HIV/AIDS Network and more. She was the subject of award-winning documentary Kecia: Words to Live By. In 2006 she spoke at the International AIDS Conference.

Youth Leader Award

This award celebrates the participation and leadership of youth in furthering education, philanthropy, activism, service, and/or community development initiatives related to HIV/AIDS.

William Flett (tie)

Haida artist William Flett started at YouthCO in 2010, where he is both a member and volunteer. He has demonstrated remarkable leadership and contributed to YouthCO’s mandate of reducing HIV stigma. As part of the YouthCO Peer Facilitation team, he helps bring workshops to schools and community settings across Metro Vancouver, including the Mpowerment program. He has created and presented workshops for youth on HIV criminalization and on coming out (in its many possibilities).

Preston Leon (tie)

Preston Leon was diagnosed with HIV at the young age of 16. He is passionate about integrating blogging, email, and social media into HIV awareness and education and is a speaker and blogger. He is active in educating his community and Reserve. His roles include Pacific Youth Representative for the Canadian AIDS Society, assistant to the CEO at the Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network (CAAN), and BC representative for CAAN. He is working with a research group to try and open a safe haven for youth living with HIV. Preston is in his last year of high school.

AccolAIDS Above and Beyond Award

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Each year, the AccolAIDS Nominations Advisory Panel has the option of naming this additional category. This year it has been named Above and Beyond, in order to honour those who have made a significant and long term commitment and dedication to the BC HIV/AIDS movement. The Above and Beyond Award winners are noted for their outstanding contributions, initiatives and leadership which together, have an enduring impact.

Charles Carty

Charles Carty has been the backbone of the now closed Downtown Eastside/HIV/IDU Consumers’ Board needle exchange for 19 years. He personally handed out over one million syringes, about half the total distributed by the program, working 50 hours a week for $14 a day. His work helped limit the spread of HIV and hepatitis C in the Downtown Eastside. His numerous contributions include helping operate the Carnegie AIDS Support Group, putting on information tables, and helping organize Canada’s first World Hepatitis Day at the Carnegie Centre, with over 3,000 attendees.

AccolAIDS “People’s Choice” Community Award

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All nominees submitted by nomination deadline are posted on the AccolAIDS website, giving people everywhere the opportunity to vote for their hero online. Final votes are tabulated shortly prior to the AccolAIDS Awards Gala and the award winner announced at the event.

Susan Bhatti

Susan Bhatti is a dedicated activist and supporter of the HIV/AIDS community in Surrey. She has worked at Positive Haven for six years and coordinates the health programming there for Lookout Emergency Aid Society. She is a key contributor to the success of Positive Haven’s high protein food bank for clients living with HIV, ensuring a steady supply. Each year she plans Lookout’s participation in World AIDS Day, the AIDS WALK for LIFE and other events. Susan has given numerous presentations, and is always willing to provide ideas for HIV/AIDS-related projects.