West Shore centre hosts queer youth safe sex event

AVI Health and Community Services (AVI) hosts a safe sex event for queer youth at their West Shore location on Wednesday, Feb. 26. The event is intended to encourage queer youth from the area to interact and network as-well-as opening dialogue around safe sex.

During the event, youth will also participate in creating safe sex packs to distribute at community events throughout Vancouver Island. Marchall Kilduff, AVI health promotion educator for men’s wellness, says the sex packs will include external and internal condoms, lube, gloves and more. Last year AVI distributed 5,000 sex packs during the Victoria Pride Parade.

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“One of the main intentions is to just invite youth into the space so that they feel more comfortable accessing services whether that be now or in the future. They can tell their friends about the services we offer and it is a way we can showcase the community and hopefully do some community building,” Sarah Graham, youth outreach educator for AVI, says.

Graham adds that holding a space for queer youth to be able to come and talk about safe sex with people who are not their parents or teachers and to know they are in a safe space is important to promote safe sex awareness.

The West Shore location, which opened in 2017, has been important for the accessibility of the services they provide to surrounding areas.

ALSO READ: Local LGBTQ+ advocate welcomes Sidney’s decision to recognize Pride Week

“A lot of the services are centralized in downtown Victoria, and there are a lot of folks spread out amongst the West Shore who aren’t always readily able to get into Victoria,” Kilduff says.

AVI is a community-based AIDS Service Organization that provides education advocacy, and support to their clients. AVI has locations in Victoria, Nanaimo, Comox Valley and Campbell River.

The event will host youth aged 25 and under to promote inter-generational networking. To find out more about the event on the AVI website under events.

sarah.schuchard@saanichnews.com


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