Blue Door Clinic

Blue Door Clinic is being recognized with a Casey Award for leadership in social justice for the HIV/AIDS community.

The award honours the innovation and successful implementation of a novel health care solution.

Blue Door Clinic is a relatively young community collaboration providing interim health care and social supports to people living with HIV in the greater Toronto area who have precarious or no health insurance coverage.

Being HIV+ without access to medication can be life-threatening. The clinic’s free and confidential services include HIV primary care, laboratory testing, connection to medication access programs, and support navigating community services such as housing, legal and immigration support. These services are provided by a remarkable team of interdisciplinary professionals, including physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses, case managers and peer support workers, who provide services in-kind from over 12 different service organizations.

People living with HIV, who have precarious, or no health care coverage represent a significant gap in the HIV care engagement cascade. The people most likely to be without access to health care are those with precarious or no immigration status. According to Ryan Peck of HALCO, this population is, “overwhelmingly comprised of racialized people who may be marginalized due to HIV stigma, racism, homophobia, transphobia, poverty, immigration status, violence, and more.” Even those with immigration status may be without identification needed to access care.

Since opening in August 2019, this low-barrier clinic has provided care to over 300 people from over 40 different countries of origin and has almost 160 active clients. The multidisciplinary coalition of health and community service agencies was originally hosted by Regent Park Community Health Centre, but recently found a new home at Casey House in October 2023, thus beginning a new chapter for the clinic.

This recognition honours the launch of a unique, collaborative and holistic care model, and for the culturally competent, lifesaving services provided to individuals who would not otherwise have access to HIV care or treatment. Says Ower Oberto, board chair for Latinos Positivos, “Their commitment to social justice, leadership, and compassion for individuals living with HIV, especially those with precarious immigration status, is nothing short of inspiring.” Waheeda Ali from CAYR Community Connections, the only ASO in York Region said, “one individual stated that they are no longer fearful of tomorrow…”.

Casey House extends warm congratulations to the Blue Door Clinic team on achieving this recognition.

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