Did you know that while African (Black) Canadians constitute only 2.2% of the 34 million Canadian population, they account for a staggering 25.5% of HIV infection rates from heterosexual contact?Public Health Agency of Canada
In September, our team at La Connexional, in partnership with HIV Edmonton, officially embarked on a mission to change this narrative through the "Start Talking Chit Chat" series. We set forth with a goal to drive meaningful dialogues and amplify already-existing resources and information for real change.
Today's hoodie launch is more than just an unveiling of another item of clothing. It signifies our step forward in catalyzing conversations and heightening awareness surrounding the significance of sexual health and wellness in our communities.
The essence of storytelling, especially regarding subjects that society deems taboo, is paramount in breaking generational trauma. By sharing stories and experiences, we're not only opening avenues for understanding and empathy but also challenging entrenched beliefs that perpetuate stigmas and misconceptions. Through these stories, we can shed light on the reality, ignite transformative dialogues, and pave the way for a more informed and understanding society.
Our Start Talking Limited Edition Hoodies, developed in close collaboration with HIV Edmonton, aren't merely pieces of apparel. They symbolize resilience, courage, and a determined endeavor to challenge the HIV stigma, especially within the African, Black, and Caribbean diasporas. The emblem and QR code are more than design elements; they're bold statements, a call to arms: "It's 2023. End The Stigma, Start Talking".
In recognizing the deep-rooted cultural nuances and long-standing misconceptions that perpetuate stigma around sexual health, our initiative becomes all the more crucial. These hoodies serve as a renewed vow to awareness, open dialogue, positive change, and unified action.
Join us. Wear not just a hoodie, but a declaration of our shared purpose - Positive Generational Impact. Let's elevate the conversations, build awareness, reshape beliefs, and dismantle the taboos that have held us back for far too long.
Ivan Touko Strategic Partnership Manager at La Connexional