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Author: Sylvain Beaudry, project coordinator. History of Maison Plein Cœur Community-based organization since 1991 Individual counselling, on-call care, drop-in center, short term supervised housing, art therapy, massages, home intervention and finally the Entraide Positive project

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History of Maison Plein Cœur

Community-based organization since 1991

Individual counselling, on-call care, drop-in center, short term supervised housing, art therapy, massages, home intervention and finally the Entraide Positive project

10 employees, 80 volunteers, 400 users


State of the situation in Montreal

  • Return in force of syphilis, gonorrhea and LGV in the 2000’s, particularly targeting the HIV-positive men having sex with men (MSM)
  • All cases of LGV declared in Quebec, 90 % of the cases of infectious syphilis and 60 % of the male cases of gonorrhea are MSM
  • August 2007, meeting between the Public Health Department of Montreal and Maison Plein Coeur

Still, every year 1.3 % of non-infected MSM contract the HIV

  • 15 % of the MSM infected by HIV in the province of Quebec were unaware of their infection
  • Source:Portrait contagious infections sexually and by the blood ( STI’s) in Quebec, Year 2008 (and projections 2009) Public health, Collection analyses and surveillance, Ministry of Health and social services of Québec.page15.

What is Entraide Positive ?

  • Community-originated initiative for HIV + MSM
  • Project "by" and "for" the HIV-positive MSM

Objectives of the project

  • Limit the impact of risk factors of sexually transmitted infections (STI’s) with HIV-positive MSM
  • Facilitate the implication of HIV-positive MSM in the realization of the project following the GIPA principles: for a Greater Implication of People living with HIV / AIDS

How does it work ?

  • Who are the peer helpers ? (selection)
  • Training
  • The 3 services of the project
  • Consultative committee

Training ( 40 hours)

  • Psychosocial chapter
  • STI’s chapter
  • Prevention chapter

Phenix workshops

  • Conjugate eroticism and decrease of risk-taking
  • Prevention of HIV and the other STI’s
  • Department of sexology (Joanne Otis’ team)

Faculty of Human Science

University of Quebec in Montreal

Canadian Chair of research in

Health education


The three services

  • Help relation
  • Support and discussion groups
  • Visibility squad

The help relationship

  • Evaluation of needs
  • Matching (peer helper / project applicant)
  • Duration of the help relationship
  • Evaluation of the help relationship

Results (2008-2010)

  • Number of help relationships : 25 (22 - 70 y.o)
  • Subjects: viral load/CD4 counts, STI’s, co-infection (Hep C, herpes), importance of regular blood screening, sexual relations at risk and preventive behavior, condom use
  • Identification of risk-taking zones, of self-worth and condom using and its negotiation

Support and discussion groups

  • Animation and co-animation
  • Proposed and open subjects, invited professionals (nurses, doctors, layers)
  • Frequency and progress

Results 2008-2010

  • Participation in groups: ~150 participations

26 to 60 y-o

  • Subjects: viral load / CD4 counts, STI’s, sexual relations and risk behaviors, love and emotional life, condoms, disclosure, criminalization, work and HIV.
  • break the isolation, create a feeling of membership, a creation of a place of expression

Visibility squad

  • Popular educational activities
  • Presence in social spaces
  • Summer activities (Pride…)

Results 2008-2010

  • Persons joined during visibility squad : 1000
  • Presence in social spaces and during appearances and festivities.
  • Condoms distribution, informative leaflets, mini-sketches with messages of prevention.

Visibility squad results

  • Increase of self-worth
  • Breaking the isolation and stigmatization
  • Inform, educate, socialize
  • Facilitate the disclosure






  • Entraide Positive is an innovative project in the education of the HIV-positive MSM
  • positions as a leader in prevention of the HIV, hepatitis and the other STI’s, education and support for HIV-positive MSM in Montreal


The peer helpers

Agency of the health and social services

Public Health Department of Montreal

The partners(Public Health department of Montreal, ACCM, Fréquence HIV, COCQ-SIDA, RÉZO, Clinique l’Actuel, CSSS Jeanne Mance, UQAM, Canadian pulpit of research in health education)