The Healing House, the world's first surge of HIV + SPA, is now open to the public for free and by appointment, or on Friday, November 30 and Saturday, December 1, timed to coincide with World AIDS Day. As part of the Casey House #SmashStigma campaign, a pop-up offer offers spa services – hand or neck / shoulder massage and a mini facial by 12 newly trained healers who are all HIV +.
“We ask Canadians to think about what it means to touch,” says Joan Simons, CEO of Casey House. The pop-up window provides an opportunity for interactive, experiential learning, designed, according to Simons, to "challenge Canadians, open their minds and their hearts, and interact with us in another way of raising awareness."
Symons says that sharing space with someone, looking into their eyes, talking and experiencing skin-to-skin contact is an effective way to demonstrate that people living with HIV suffer from stigma. “The evidence is obvious: science shows that there is no possible transmission of HIV infection to the skin. It is not saliva. Therefore, by dividing the glass, you cannot transmit HIV. Our people deserve the same respect and dignity, love and compassion. ”
The community community follows some rather dismal research by Casey House. The findings showed that although 91 percent of Canadians believe that our nature requires positive contact, more than half of them from 51 percent of the population indicated that they are willing to share skin contact with the skin of a person who is HIV / AIDS.
More than 20 years have passed since lifelong combination medication turned a fatal disease into a chronic, manageable condition. According to Simons, the data transfer rate is still high, because this year more than 1.8 million people will be diagnosed in the world. But the accompanying stigma suffered by those affected by this disease has not changed, even when our scientific understanding and treatment continues to improve. Hence the slogan for the spa: Lie down and make yourself uncomfortable.
Melissa Doldron, who is the RMT for Blue Jays, has stepped up training for the Healer team. “Learning through contact is more powerful because it adds a deeper layer to understanding what people living with HIV can experience,” she says. Simons agrees. "These are people who may feel invisible and not pay attention, and here there is a real feeling of love."
Visit SmashStigma.ca for details. Donations can also be made at CaseyHouse.com.