What is the Listening Campaign About?

It is officially that time of year! It is that time of year when I make an announcement about Arts 4 Action, and I invite you to attend a spectacular evening of arts, music, fashion and everything nice to educate about and raise funds for HIV. It is what we have done historically for the past eleven-years. Each year, a different theme, and in the lead-up to this kaleidoscopic whirlwind night of arts, we run a unique arts mentorship through which graphic design students and new grads across Alberta are mentored by women living with HIV.

It is that time of year to share stories that challenge stigma and discrimination.

In many ways, Ribbon Rouge is a story about my growth, a retelling of some of my most painful life experiences… a way to understand difficulties that I have lived through … a way to give these difficulties meaning. It began with a sensitization to people living with HIV in Nigeria, grew in a deep empathy with women enduring gender-based violence and now into a rediscovery beyond self of my African identity. We are still evolving.

This video explains this evolution well.

Instead of the Arts 4 Action benefit, we are listening.

Instead, we will listen to diverse African communities in Alberta with the intention of mobilizing these communities towards co-creating positive social change. I invite you to Take Action with us, by volunteering. Our growing Listening Campaign team is a province-wide team of collaborators including: community organizers, black community leaders, academics, artists, policymakers, media, businesses and other non-government stakeholders, health and social care providers. In the coming weeks, I will be sharing more about this campaign including various philosophical twists and turns in the journey that brought us here.


Thank you for walking with us.

To Zero,

Moréniké Ọláòṣebìkan



Let’s Talk About Sex, Baby

Very important message. Joie writes in Nigeria, but many of the themes she raises are true of teenage girls here in Canada too. It really should not be an awkward request to ask your partner to get tested…it shouldn’t be difficult for you to know your status either.
I particularly find the article hyperlinked to be a very important one to share>>http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/5039729

Joie's Blog

It is amazing how sex is a relatively taboo topic among PLWHA ( or at least seems to be). Considering that a majority of us acquired the disease through sexual intercourse one would only hope that there would be a little less mental restriction on the subject, but in Nigeria? No way! Even pregnant women are expected to act like virgins here.

Sex is a very important part of the lives of people in this country, both those living with HIV/AIDS and those who are not. It is because of sex that many people refuse to either disclose their status or just refuse to get tested. Naturally, the other peripheral issues pop up like ‘can the illness be treated‘ , ‘will I die from it‘, etc,which are generally already answered by treatment and care, but the main question ‘will I be able to maintain my…

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Other Marihuana Info

Indications for the non-medicine-medical-product

The current law does not stipulate any condition and leaves this open to the physician’s discretion.

The former law stipulated: end-of-life care, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury or disease, cancer, HIV/AIDS, arthritis, epilepsy, or a debilitating symptom of another condition. In the past, the physician, would submit documentation to Health Canada, who in turn issued authorization to possess Marihuana to the patient. Health Canada is no longer involved in this way, and physicians are no longer compelled to disclose the medical condition to Health Canada. This places responsibility squarely on the one profession – Physicians.

Prescription cannabinoids (not cannabis leaves) – These are Health Canada approved drug products containing constituents of cannabis or similar compounds and are approved in Canada for patients not responding to conventional treatments for pain, spasticity, stimulating appetite in AIDS patients with anorexia associated with weight loss, and for the management of nausea and vomiting associated with cancer chemotherapy.

Current Medical Association guidance documents indicate Marihuana use mainly for severe neuropathic pain not responding to other treatments and state that dried cannabis is not an appropriate therapy for anxiety or insomnia.

Potential use based on clinical use and experimentation are numerous. If you are interested, click here.

Dosage Forms of the non-medicine-medical-product

As already mentioned, only dried cannabis can legally be provided to patients. The label should indicate the percentage of THC and CBD, and it should not be sold in any dosage forms (not in capsules/ suspensions/ cigarettes etc.)

Mode of Administration of the non-medicine-medical-product

For Inhalation or oral consumption, also may be administered in vaporizers or teas. Ideally, medical marihuana should not be smoked.

Patient Confidentiality

I learned that patient’s using marihuana do not have the same privacy laws protecting them that other patients have. If a police officer approaches a pharmacist for drug information about patients, a warrant is needed or patient consent required for the information to be released. However, when an RCMP officer requests such information from a farmacist, a response is required within 72 hours as to whether an individual is in fact a client or care giver of a client as well as the dose provided to the client. The farmacist only has to make reasonable efforts to determine that the requester is in fact an RCMP officer. The information disclosed must be used solely for investigation in concern or to uphold the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Act & Regulations.

Dose Limits

The current law limits the amount a patient can legally possess to 150 grams or 30 x the daily dose (whichever is less) and limits the day supply to 30 days, so farmacists can not sell more than that maximum amount within 30 days, with this period being based on the date of sale. Most patients receive a dose of < 3g/d. Physicians and Nurse practitioners may also receive supplies from licensed producers to transfer to patient. Under the new law, nobody is allowed to grow Marihuana (Except those grandfathered by the previously mentioned injunction, who have a valid Authorization to Possess prior to March 21, 2014)

Quality Control

Health Canada does inspect these licensed dealers for safety purposes. Patients can contact their producer to verify various other specific preferences ranging from organic requests to mechanization and many more specifics.

For more on the inspection process, click here.

Drug Coverage For the Non-Medicine-Medical-Product

Financial assistance may be available through government or insurance healthcare benefit programs or compassionate pricing might be offered by the producer.