Third PROUD Peer-led Discussion Session

We have had very interesting conversations at our last two sessions! Please join us for the next discussion during the NESI drop-in at Somerset West Community Health Centre.

CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS: Peer Session Poster – March 23, 2017

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Notice of Next Peer-led Discussion Session

Our next discussion session will be held at the Centretown Community Health Centre.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION:  Peer Session Poster – March 10, 2017

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Paper Published on Uptake of HIV Point-of-Care Testing

The PROUD Study team recently published a 4th peer-reviewed manuscript titled “Uptake of Community-Based Peer Administered HIV Point-of-Care Testing: Findings from the PROUD Study”.

Please find the paper here:

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Notice of Upcoming PROUD Peer Discussion Sessions

Please join us at one of our peer-led discussion sessions to be held at several Community Health Centres in Ottawa!


Peer Session Poster – February 23, 2017

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An Infosheet for Service Providers: Findings from the Life Story Board Study

From September 2016-February 2017, PROUD Peer Research Associates gave presentations to health professionals and other staff at three Community Health Centres and three other community organizations that provide services or supports to people who use drugs.



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A guide by and for people who use drugs on how to get involved

June 2015

Canadian AIDS Society / Société canadienne du sida

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PROUD presents Experts-by-experience: A community colloquium

June 6, 2016 event poster - final

PROUD is hosting an event on June 6, from 1:00 pm – 3:30, at the St. Brigid’s Centre for the Arts, located at 310 St. Patrick St (entrance on Cumberland St). Some refreshments and snacks will be provided. The event will be held in English.

Here are some details regarding the event:

  • Peer researchers will share recent findings stemming from the Life Story Board study, which was conducted at the SHCHC, CTCHC and SWCHC in the summer of 2015;
  • Youth from the community will give a presentation on their experiences of drug use and HIV and Hepatitis C prevention needs;
  • Rob Boyd, from Oasis at the SHCHC, will give a summary of the recent round of public consultations and update the community regarding SIS in Ottawa;
  • There will be a community consultation in order to identify current community research priorities.
    Please circulate this message widely in your networks. We hope to see you there!

For more information, please send an email to

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Rob Boyd of the PROUD Community Advisory Committee on CBC Radio this morning!

Rob Boyd, Director of the OASIS program at the Sandy Hill Community Health Centre and ex-officio member of the PROUD CAC, spoke on CBC Radio One this morning on why the Sandy Hill Community Centre would be well equipped to receive Supervised Injection Services (SIS) in Ottawa! Ottawans, including the Mayor and the Chief of Police, need to get behind SIS in our City! Tune in and spread the word!

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Canada urged to create national system to track opioid-related deaths


Medical experts are calling for the creation of a national system to track Canada’s epidemic of opioid-related deaths, as fatalities from popular painkillers continue to mount.

A new study released Monday in the Canadian Medical Association Journal highlights the lack of timely and accurate information on fatal opioid overdoses. Unlike countries such as the United States and Australia, the study says, Canada has no mechanism for collecting and monitoring the number of people who die each year from opioids.

Opioids such as morphine and oxycodone are prescribed as painkillers, but a spike in the illegal use of the drugs, especially fentanyl, is raising alarms with public-health officials across the country.

Against this backdrop, the group of researchers looked for ways to solve what they say is an incomplete picture of the harm done by prescription opioids in Canada.

Tara Gomes, an epidemiologist at Toronto’s St. Michael’s Hospital and one of the researchers on the study, said such information is vital to track and respond to patterns in drug use, which often change quickly.

“As new drugs enter the market, it’s a constantly shifting target, so having up-to-date information on overdose death is a really important surveillance tactic that has been historically quite difficult,” she said in an interview.

In Alberta, the government is under pressure to take immediate steps to respond to a growing problem of fentanyl abuse. Over the first nine months of this year, fentanyl has resulted in 213 deaths in the province, up from 120 in 2014. The powerful opioid is available by prescription, and is also manufactured in clandestine labs and sold on the street.

Donald MacPherson, executive director of the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition at Simon Fraser University, said the number of deaths from fentanyl alone should galvanize policy makers. He called on the federal government to play a leadership role in setting up a national database.

“I would be interested to know if there are other causes of accidental deaths that double annually and are subject to the same level of continuing complacency,” Mr. MacPherson said in an interview.

Dr. John Younes, Manitoba’s acting chief medical examiner, said there should be a national database tracking all classes of drugs that result in fatal intoxications. However, he said, it would take a fair bit of effort to figure out how to create such a database because each province has its own system for conducting death investigations.

The solution proposed by the researchers is to extract numbers from existing Statistics Canada data. Statscan records the cause of death in its vital statistics death database, they note, based on information from a physician, coroner or medical examiner. While the numbers do not exactly match the results that researchers were able to gather through the detailed study of coroners’ records in Ontario, they believe they can provide a reliable indication of trends.

Up until now, Ms. Gomes said, researchers have relied on detailed examinations of coroners’ records – the “gold standard” for this data. She said national numbers are sometimes estimated based on what is happening in Ontario and British Columbia, which publish annual statistics on deaths associated with several classes of opioids.

Neither province, however, has up-to-date statistics available on deaths. In Ontario, the most recent numbers show that opioid-related deaths rose to 652 in 2013 from 344 in 2008.

Dr. Roger Skinner, regional supervising coroner in Ontario’s Office of the Chief Coroner, said it can sometimes take more than a year to complete an investigation, including toxicology testing.

He said he understands that researchers would like more timely information, but he thinks more of the focus should be on drug safety and measures aimed at curbing opioid addiction. To that end, he would like to see the creation of a system to monitor which doctors are prescribing the painkillers.

“By the time folks are dead, the damage is done,” he said in an interview.

Story by:

Karen Howlett and Elizabeth Church
Follow us them Twitter: Karen Howlett @kahowlett, Elizabeth Church @lizchurchto

Globe and Mail, November 30, 2015
Click here for the story.

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