The Pacific AIDS Network (PAN – ) held its annual Fall Conference and AGM October 30-31 in Kelowna. HepCBC attended this year for the first time as a Full Member, due to changes in the PAN Constitution and Bylaws.

New Bylaws included:

  • PAN no longer requires its hepatitis C organizational members to offer HIV-related services.
  • Starting with the 2019 AGM, people who are mono-infected with HCV will also be welcomed onto the PAN Board of Directors (which now has 50% of its seats reserved for people with lived experience of HIV and/or hepatitis C). To further enable these changes, PAN’s Bylaws have added 2 seats to its Board (now totaling 14); it requires that of the 7 seats designated for people with lived experience of HIV and/or hepatitis C, at least one must be self-disclosed as HIV+ and one self-disclosed as with lived experience of hepatitis C.
  • Another significant change to the PAN Bylaws was to designate one seat on its Board for “a member that is associated with and able to effectively represent the FNHA” (First Nations Health Authority).
  • The new Bylaws also require that each of the 6 other Health Authorities be represented by at least one other Director.
  • The potential to reimburse PAN Board directors is now a Bylaw; this is because PAN wants to consider reimbursing Board Directors who are volunteers (not being compensated for their time through their employment), such as is common among peers living with HIV and/or hepatitis C.

As for the rest of the conference, we hope the 14 photos below can give you an idea of the wonderful flavor of the presentations and activities. Thank you PAN.

1. Richard Elliott of Cdn HIV/AIDS Legal Networks speaks to group about the criminalization of HIV/AIDS. Foreground: Janet Madsen of PAN

2. Wendy Stevens of Positive Living BC speaks of her experiences as a Peer Navigator and as a positive woman in BC

3. Regional Health Authority Panel: Andrea Derban of FNHA, Sophie Bannar-Martin of Island Health, Ashley Stoppler of Interior Health, Maja Karlsson of Interior Health, Nancy Chow of Vanc. Coastal Health, and Jason Wong representing Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA)

4. Connection is the opposite of Addiction.

5. A Treatment Journey Map

6. Comparing Experience of Stigma in the Health System: Indigenous vs. Indigenous

7. Newly-Reported Cases of hepatitis C in BC by Age, between 2009 to 2018 so far

8. Provincial (and Federal) Panel: Jason Wong representing BC Centre for Disease Control, Dr. Junine Toy of BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, Miranda Compton of BC’s Overdose Emergency Response Centre, Robin Yates of BC Ministry of Health, and Joshua Mann of Public Health Agency of Canada

9. What is Cultural Safety and Humility?

10. Simple but Excellent Advice for All

11. Dr. Shannon McDonald, First Nations Health Authority Deputy Chief Medical Officer gave a moving keynote at the very end of the second day which left us with much food for thought to keep us inspired for the upcoming months. Hopefully the tide will turn on the opioid crisis devastating so many of our communities.

12. Shifting the paradigm from sickness to wellness, from deficits to strengths.

13. Promote healing: “We need to stop shaming addiction. We need to have open conversations about it in our homes and our offices, in our communities.” Shane Baker, Gitxsan Nation.