TORONTO, November 29, 2018 /PRNewswire/ --
95 million North Americans Believe HIV/AIDS is Contracted through Skin-to-Skin Touch
Juno Award winner and activist Keshia Chanté receives first-ever healing touch massage from one of the 15 HIV+ Healers participating in Healing House, the world's first pop-up HIV+ spa in Toronto, Canada opening today.
According to the Casey House Smash Stigma Survey, almost half (48%) of North Americans would not be willing to share skin-to-skin touch with someone who has HIV/AIDS. Keshia Chanté is encouraging Canadians to join her in the fight to eradicate the stigma faced by 1.8 million people worldwide.
This spa aims to raise awareness about the misconceptions around HIV/AIDS that fuel stigma. Even after 40 years of education there are strong misunderstandings, fears and shame associated with HIV/AIDS. Over half of Canadians think they could likely contract HIV/AIDS from at least one of the following: kissing, skin-to-skin contact or drinking from the same glass of water, and 140 million Americans think they are likely to contract HIV/AIDS from kissing alone. These are perceptions that persist today and are factually incorrect.
"The reality is that, there is a huge lack of public knowledge," said Keshia Chanté. "I am proud to be part of such an important program and I will be getting the services offered to show people that you cannot contract HIV/AIDS through skin-to-skin touch. I encourage my fellow Torontonians to come down and book a service as well. Until we end stigma associated with HIV/AIDS, I will be talking about it."
The 15 HIV+ individuals participating in Healing House have been trained by Melissa Doldron, RMT for the Toronto Blue Jays on how to provide healing touch services like hand, neck and shoulder massages that will educate people about the power of touch. All services are free of charge and program partners include Province Apothecary and MAC Cosmetics.
Healing House launches with a media-only day on November 29. Doors open to the public on November 30 from 12:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. and on December 1, World AIDS Day from 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. To book an appointment, you can visit: http://www.smashstigma.ca. You can also visit http://www.caseyhouse.com to donate and help support ground-breaking care based in Toronto.
"Today, we challenge the ongoing stigma associated with HIV/AIDS, a stigma that has no place in our minds or the conversation. We challenge words like blame and shame, and we challenge the false notion that skin-to-skin touch cannot be shared with someone who is HIV+," said Joanne Simons, CEO of Casey House. "We are proud to be a global leader in HIV/AIDS care, challenging stigma and boldly advocating on behalf of our clients to demand the dignity they deserve."
What: Healing House, an HIV+ Pop Up Spa Where: 128 Peter Street, Toronto, ON M5V 2G7 When: November 29: 9:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. (VIP and Media Launch only) November 30: 12:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. December 1: 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Follow along here: #smashstigma Casey House Healers, CEO of Casey House Joanne Simons, Keshia Chanté and Photo Opp: Melissa Doldron, RMT
For high res photography of the participating HIV+ healers, a :15 campaign video, and additional survey findings, please visit: http://bit.ly/2PHO2hk.
About Casey House:
Casey House is Canada's first and only stand-alone hospital for people living with HIV/AIDS. Through our innovative and comprehensive approach to health care, we remain one of the few places where people with HIV/AIDS can seek care without judgement. We are more than a place that saves lives, we are a place that speaks up, shines understanding through compassion, and empowers our clients to get better.
Although many people who live with HIV can manage their disease effectively with a support network and access to treatment, Casey House clients are not part of that majority and fall into the category of the 40% of people in Ontario not on treatment. They are vulnerable, seeking safety and in need of nourishment. Casey House will continue to provide unequivocal compassion to clients in need, providing them with a holistic approach to their care and treatment. This facility is possible due to the commitment and generosity of government, individuals, foundations and corporations that believe it is our collective responsibility to take care of all members of our community.
A survey of 1,581 Canadians residents was completed online between October 19-22, 2018 using Leger's online panel, LegerWeb. A probability sample of the same size would yield a margin of error of +/- 2.46%, 19 times out of 20.
A survey of 1,501 Americans was completed online between November 1-16, 2018, using Leger's online panel, LegerWeb. A probability sample of the same size would yield a margin of error of +/-2.5%, 19 times out of 20.
NOTE: North American data includes Americans and Canadians surveyed only.
If you'd like to book an interview with any of the panelists, or if you would like to send a camera to Healing House, please contact: Jessica Leroux, Narrative, Jessica.firstname.lastname@example.org, +1(416)843-7210; Kylee Berencsi, Narrative, email@example.com , +1(416)579-0861
SOURCE Casey House Foundation