AIDS Vancouver Island (AVI) executive director Katrina Jensen, left, and AVI educator Taylor Teal examine a naloxone kit used to combat overdose deaths. AVI is in the middle of a transition to become the AVI Health & Community Services Society – a change to the name, logo and identity of the organization that speaks to the many types of work it does on the Island. (File Photo)

AVI’s new identity reflects AIDS as a chronic, manageable condition

HIV/AIDS no longer an incurable, deadly disease, says AVI

AIDS Vancouver Island (AVI) is shifting to reflect that living with HIV or AIDS is no longer a death sentence, but a chronic, manageable condition.

Founded in 1985 by five gay men, AVI is a community-based AIDS service organization providing integrated support services to people living with HIV or AIDS on Vancouver Island.

READ ALSO: AIDS Vancouver Island web fundraiser tackles need for prevention resources

Over the last 34 years, the organization has grown to provide a number of services, including hepatitis C, harm reduction distribution, overdose prevention services, opioid agonist therapy, pre-exposure prophylaxis and dedicated case management support for people living with HIV.

But now AVI is launching a new name and brand identity. This summer the organization will make a formal switch to AVI Health & Community Services Society – a name to “reflect the broad range of services the agency now provides, while honouring their foundational approach to human rights and social justice.”

Along with a name change, AVI has a new logo that honours the five original founders (blood drops) and its five locations (ribbons) as well as red and yellow ribbons representing HIV and Hep C.

READ ALSO: 30th annual World AIDS Day ceremonies happening in Victoria

“As HIV and AIDS in Canada changes, so too must AVI’s mission, scope of services and supports for people across Vancouver Island living with or affected by HIV, hepatitis C, and substance use,” said Chad Dickie, AVI board chair. “AVI will always be AIDS Vancouver Island – we honour that legacy while acknowledging the true scope, scale and increased range of services and supports AVI provides to improve the health of people on Vancouver Island.”

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