Nancy Mayo, Professor, School of Physical and Occupational Therapy, McGill University;
Kenneth Poon, Health Promotion Worker, Asian Community AIDS Services;
Poz Youth in Transition Program, AIDS Committee of Durham Region
Professor, School of Physical and Occupational Therapy, McGill University
Dr. Mayo’s contribution to HIV started in 2012 when she teamed up with Drs. Fellows and Brouillette from McGill University, to lead a multisite, trans-disciplinary, Canadian study entitled Positive Brain Health Now (BHN+) . Main goals of the BHN+ cohort study are to identify, understand, and optimize brain health in people living with HIV with a main focus on cognitive impairment, its measurement, contributors and consequences. The main contribution of Dr. Mayo has been to implant the rehabilitation perspective into this trans-disciplinary team, making disability, function, and quality of life the focus of the whole HIV research team. Dr. Mayo has also been responsible for training graduate students in HIV research, contributing to building a critical mass of rehabilitation oriented HIV researchers.
Health Promotion Worker, Asian Community AIDS Services
As a long term survivor who is legally blind, Kenneth has shown his strong resiliency and a tremendous empathy with other people living with HIV (PHAs). He reflected on his residency at Casey house for over two years, the time he lost his sight because of HIV, as the moment that uniquely equipped him to deeply understand the challenges and barriers that PHAs face on a day to day basis. He learned to be resourceful in dealing with his illness and disability. Being active, staying busy, contributing to AIDS movement and a wider society through volunteer work, and equipping himself with knowledge on complimentary therapy and holistic health are one of the many things he has done to overcome health problems. His positive attitude about life also has a profound impact on how he perceives his health and well-being. His unique perspective on life in general, and courage exemplify PHA resiliency.
Poz Youth in Transition Program
AIDS Committee of Durham Region
ACDR has considered the purposeful, planned movement of adolescents with chronic medical conditions from child-centered to adult-oriented health care. By directly involving Poz Youth from the region through their Pozzy Program, and in collaboration with community partners, ACDR has secured province-wide funding to ensure that no youth is lost during transition. This is big work for a small agency! Working with the Ontario HIV Treatment Network, the AIDS Bureau and the Ontario Organizational Development Program, the Pozzy (ACDR’s HIV+ Youth Support and Social group) brought youth from across Ontario to draft the Transition Accord – a document articulating the most effective way to transition a child born with HIV from pediatric AIDS care to Adult Care to ensure they remain undetectable and un-infectious; thereby fixing a gap in the Treatment Cascade.