p.p1 the first meeting of The Aids Committee of

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The AIDS epidemic of the 1980s began as what seemed to be an outbreak of a new cancer that affected gay men (Quirks & Quarks, 1981), fast forward a couple years and it was discovered that AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome) (Palmer, 2013) was a result of HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) and did not only affect gay men (Midday, 1987). All of the unknown answers to all of the new questions the viruses brought, resulted in a lot of stigma and divide between gay communities, government and HIV positive individuals, fear of the unknown became fear of the infected. Thanks to modern medicine, HIV is treatable and AIDS related deaths are more rare than they were 30 years ago. It is now possible to live a long and healthy life. Nevertheless, HIV/AIDS is still present in our society and therefore still a social issue that needs responding to, thankfully there are a number of organizations doing just that.
The Aids Committee of Toronto was formed by a group of activists in response to the outbreak of HIV/AIDS in 1983. Following the first cases of AIDS in Toronto, a forum was held at Ryerson University in 1983 to address the alarm that was growing because of increased cases of AIDS. Ed Jackson, the editor of Canadian gay and lesbian news magazine, The Body Politic, received a call in March of 1983, from The Canadian Red Cross, asking what the answer should be in regards to AIDS and how it affects blood donation (ACT, 2016). Jackson called a meeting with nine other people he felt could help provide leadership on tackling this new and changing issue. This meeting resulted in not only a statement to provide to the Red Cross with, but also the realization that there needed to be something with longevity to respond to people with AIDS. This meeting became the first meeting of The Aids Committee of Toronto.
Today, The Aids Committee of Toronto is Canada’s largest organization providing service in response to HIV. ACT is committed to reducing new HIV infections as well as supporting those living with, or at a greater risk of, HIV and AIDS. Their focus is on independence, dignity, health and well-being of people living with HIV/AIDS, otherwise called GIPA/ MEPA (Greater/Meaningful Involvement of People of People Living with AIDS/HIV).
ACT not only responds to the needs of people on a micro level, but also acts on a macro level, influencing policy. They provide a comprehensive range of services including health and sex education, tax and insurance clinics, condom distribution, counselling, outreach and community education, social support network and women’s support programs (ACT, 2016). 
ACT has also worked with Toronto Public Health, notably in its early years, launching a campaign about the importance of practising safe sex, once it was discovered that HIV caused AIDS. ACT was also the voice that advocated for anonymous HIV antibody testing in order to eliminate stigma. ACT prides itself on evolving and changing as the needs of the people it serves evolve and change. ACT is currently in its 30th year of service and is advocating for the HIV prevention drug, PrEP (Pre-exposure prophylaxis) to be included in Ontario’s Public Drug Plans. ACT also posts their stance around issues that impact their agency, examples being pro at-home HIV testing kits (2012) as well as universal access to HIV/AIDS treatment (2008).
As of November, 2011, 1 in 120 adults living in Toronto are HIV positive (The Canadian Press, 2011), the largest 

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