ACAS Annual Report 2015

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HISTORY On World AIDS Day, December 1, 1994, three of the AIDS groups serving the Southeast Asian communities in Metro Toronto joined forces to form a new coalition agency. Gay Asians Toronto’s Gay Asian AIDS Project, Southeast Asian Service Centre’s Vietnamese AIDS Project and the Toronto Chinese Health Education Committee’s AIDS Alert Project amalgamated to form the new coalition agency: Asian Community AIDS Services (ACAS). It was a turning point for the agencies and signified communities working together and building a safer space for marginalized members of our communities, while also developing a collective response to HIV/AIDS.

AIDS in our communities continues to be a struggle. Many still see it as taboo, fearful, and shameful. These barriers prevent many community members from accessing information and services needed for their protection and survival. These reinforce the many forms of discrimination and harassment against immigrants and refugees, gays and lesbians, youth, women, substance users, sex trade workers and people of colour. Faced with such important social responsibilities, ACAS continues to organize concerted community efforts in addressing these on-going challenges.

Inspired by a march in Washington, Gay Asians Toronto formed in 1980 before eventually forming ACAS with two other groups


Asian Community AIDS Services (ACAS) is a charitable, non-profit, community-based organization. We at ACAS are committed to provide HIV/AIDS education, prevention, and support services to the East and Southeast Asian Canadian communities. Our programs are based on a pro-active and holistic approach to HIV/AIDS and are provided in a collaborative, empowering, and non-discriminatory manner.


To reduce the infection of HIV/AIDS by promoting public awareness on HIV/AIDS prevention and safer sex in the Asian communities.

To provide comprehensive and culturally appropriate support, education, and outreach services to Asians and Asians infected and affected by HIV/AIDS in a non-discriminatory and non-judgmental manner.

To enhance the well-being of Asians infected and affected by HIV/ AIDS by providing direct services, increasing their control over their own health, and by promoting a supportive environment in the larger community

To promote a supportive environment to Asians infected and affected by HIV/AIDS by increasing access to services and by reducing racism, homophobia and AIDS-phobia

To increase networking and collaboration among the Asian communities and HIV/AIDS services in Canadian society


As part of the ACAS objectives to promote a supportive environment, ACAS continue its tradition to march every year in the Pride Parade, Dyke March, and Trans March

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Message from the Board Chair & Executive Director




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Financial Statement


Volunteer Appreciation

Personnel, Funders, & Sponsors


Message from the Chair & Executive Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but rising every time we fall. Confucius

More than twenty years ago, the roots of ACAS were laid when a group of likeminded Asian-Canadians saw the need for HIV/AIDS support, prevention, and sexual health education to be provided for the East and Southeast Asian communities. With that foundation in place, ACAS now strives to serve a growing base of East and Southeast Asians within Ontario. Within the last year, you have seen us in various formats: The Pink Dot Toronto march in Chinatown in Spring; World AIDS Day outreach at various TTC subway stations; the launch of ‘Writing Our Own Stories’, written by members of the Queer Asian Youth program; S.L.A.M. the Sex, Love, Asian Men community forum; Pillow Talk women’s forum; health promotion workshops for those living with HIV and our signature International Youth Internship in partnership with the Thai National AIDS Foundation.

Board Director

In 2016, we experience a few challenges, such as a surge of homophobia in our communities and government funding cuts which have recently occurred. Despite these tough times, we continue to enjoy abundant successes thanks to our volunteers, led by an amazing and professional group of staff. On behalf of ACAS, our thanks go to EVERYONE that makes ACAS a reality, including donors, allies and participants. We mentioned more recently that every dollar counts now, more than ever.

Again, we wish to thank you all, especially board and staff members who have or will be stepping down this year due to various reasons. Your dedication to everything ACAS is greatly appreciated Yours sincerely,

Paul Cadiente Board Chair

Noulmook Sutdhibhasilp Executive Director


PROGRAMS Support Program

Women’s Program

Support Program provides confidential support services to East and Southeast Asians living with HIV and their affected families/friends. Our program aims to improve the quality of life of people living with HIV/AIDS (PHAs). To meet the unique needs of our service users, we collaborate with other ACAS programs and related community partners to deliver holistic and culturally appropriate services. We strive to support and empower PHAs to cope and live with HIV. This empowerment process is accomplished by enhancing PHAs’ knowledge and skills to facilitate self-care and to make positive changes to their lives.

The Woman’s Education and Outreach program exists to increase East and Southeast Asian Women’s access to sexual and reproductive health information. In particular, we specialize in HIV and STI Prevention. In addition to providing multi-lingual workshops, we also do outreach to the community, offer health clinic referrals, and produce multi-lingual printed health resources.

Youth Program The Youth Education and Outreach Program, also known as Queer Asian Youth (QAY), prevents the spread of HIV/ STIs and improves the quality of life among the East and Southeast LGBTQ Asian youth community. This is done by providing culturally and linguistically appropriate education and outreach, creating safe spaces, and developing youth’s capacities, while addressing the socio-economic factors such as homo/ transphobia, racism, sexism, and HIV stigma that contribute to risky behaviour.

Men’s Program ACAS SLAM! Men’s Program is a place where we address sexual health and social issues of East/Southeast Asian gay, bi, queer, trans, and other men who have sex with men (MSM). We promote HIV and STI prevention based on safer sex practices, harm reduction principles, and educational discussions around our community’s lived experiences with sex, love, and relationships. Our programs and events include, but are not limited to: HumpDay Monthly Social event (every last Wednesday of the month), Asian Bathhouse Night (every third Thursday at Spa Excess), Community and Online Outreach, and our annual SLAM! Forum.

Shimmer Project The Shimmer Project is a pilot project to create a safe space for Asian Trans Women. Currently, no such program exists for a marginalized group. Beyond promoting healthy sexuality, The Shimmer Project strives to promote empowerment, self-advocacy, resiliency and everything fabulous!

The CelebrAsian Fundraising Gala takes its name from the gay Asian zine that started in 1984

Volunteer Program

Community Engagement

The Volunteer Program at ACAS recruits, trains, and supports volunteers and provides human resources for other programs. Based on the successes of this past year, the Volunteer Program is pleased to announce the completion of yet another outstanding year.

The Community Engagement Program had an amazing year engaging diverse stakeholders and raise the profile of ACAS locally and internationally. The program strengthened relationships with existing partners and developed new ones. It also exceeded its target of media and public engagement. Last but not least, the program also coordinated one of our the highest-grossing ACAS ScotiaRun Charity Challenge fundraisers yet!

Volunteer contributions were implemented in areas such as: administration, education, outreach, community development, fundraising, practical support, and special events.

Ontario Positive Asians (OPA+) The Ontario Positive Asians (OPA+) Network, an initiative jointly supported by ACAS and the Alliance for South Asian AIDS Prevention (ASAAP), continued its growth as a young, network for and by Ontarian Asians living with HIV. The peer-based advisory committee developed a well-loved program for the amazing second annual OPA+ Gathering, collaborated with community partners on joint initiatives, and created a blog site to fight invisibilities of Asians living with HIV in the province.



ACAS promotes a supportive environment to Asians infected and affected by HIV/AIDS by increasing access to services and by reducing racism, homophobia and AIDS-phobia. We also increase networking and collaboration among the Asian communities. Having a strong support network increases resilience, increases overall well-being, and further reduces the risks of HIV and STI’s.

200 QAY’s sports and recreation project called Rice In Motion engaged more than 200 youth through several sports and recreational events like Dodgeball, Takraw, Zumba and Board Games. QAY has had monthly social events and volunteer meetings to constantly have the youth engaged and involved in all of QAY’s future programming.


The Women’s Support Program collaborated with the Women’s Education and Outreach program to develop a 6-event social series. The series, called Growth/Nature/Nurture, is focused on self-growth and community-development, with events including gardening, singing, dance, board games, self-defense, and healthy relationships.


As the Shimmer Project launches, they have done outreach 4 times and held 1 discussion group on healthy sexuality.


Hosted 5 drop-in social events for East & Southeast Asian women reaching more than 60 Asian Women.


Attendees at the Men’s monthly HumpDay Potluck Social


Recruited and provided support for 16 volunteers in the Women’s program who can speak East & Southeast Asian languages as peer educators.

Worked with queer Asian women peer educators to develop QAW+ group (Queer Asian Women + nonbinary folks). Members of the group initiate and facilitate QAW+ events with ACAS providing support.



Our programs are based on a pro-active and holistic approach to HIV/AIDS and are provided in a collaborative, empowering, and non-discriminatory manner. ACAS provides comprehensive and culturally appropriate support, education, and outreach services to Asians and Asians infected and affected by HIV/AIDS in a non-discriminatory and non-judgmental manner.

Hosted an Asian’s women forum called “Pillow Talk”. The event had a Pillow Talk Committee of five Asian Women that met four times in early 2016 to develop, plan and prepare the event. Pillow Talk this year consisted of a series of consecutive workshops on sexual health, pleasure and empowerment for Asian women.



Hosted 14 workshops on HIV, Healthy Relationship and Raising Sexually Healthy Children in East & Southeast Asian languages reaching at least 141 Asian Women. Developed a group of Japanese women to co-facilitate healthy relationship for newcomer women.

WTF is this STI?

Delivered 20 sexual health workshops to Asian men who have sex with men (MSM).

The Men’s Program does weekly outreach at the bathhouse. In total, 353 packages were handed out and 16 referrals were made to the Hassle Free Clinic. Through online outreach the Men’s Program reached 38 people, made 9 referrals to Hassle Free Clinic, and 12 referrals to ACAS services.

Through our community interactions, we created an STI testing video called “WTF is this STI?!” to help promote STI testing for those that do not know what kind of symptoms to find.



QAY had another successful year. More than 200 youth attended workshops and recreation events like a nature hike, k-pop dance workshop and e-cigarette information session.

QAY has always been aware of the lack of representation and/or misrepresentation of queer Asian youth identities in the community. As a response, QAY developed a project called “Telling Our Own Stories: Queer Asian Youth Writing Project� to create a book by and for LGBTQ+ East and Southeast Asian youth, the first one to be created in the community.


Our Asian Bathhouse Night has been maintaining its success in outreaching to Asian men who have sex with men (MSM). Over 100 participants attended our sexual health workshops in the bathhouse, with topics such as: how to look out for STI signs, PrEP, and how to find and enjoy the kind of safe sex people want.

30 Asian MSM attended our annual SLAM! (Sex Love Asian Men) forum, which addressed issues around sex positivity, sexual identity and fluidity, sexual racism, HIV disclosure, mental health, and other exciting topics. Hassle Free Clinic was on site to provide HIV anonymous testing to 9 Asian Men.

To date, the Volunteer Program would like to welcome and thank our 56 new dedicated volunteers to the ACAS family.



ACAS provides essential programs and services to enhance the well-being of Asians infected and affected by HIV/AIDS by providing direct services, increasing their control over their own health, and by promoting a supportive environment in the larger community. We are so fortunate and happy to see how many of our clients have benefited directly from our services over the past year.


The Support Program provided case management and support services to 107 individuals (including 97 PHAs and 10 affected members)


We offered 9 Health Promotion Workshops, with topics including PHA Stories, HIV Disclosure and Criminalization, Private Insurance, Occupational Therapy, Drug Coverage, HIV and Skin Conditions.


Working with Oxford College and volunteer acupuncturists, we provided 460 complementary therapy sessions to our service users.


11 PHAs participated in Photovoice Project to share their stories through photography. Their works were exhibited in both Toronto and overseas (partnered with Lourdes Association in Taiwan)


We organized 11 social events and 6 ALPHA gatherings (a social group for Asian gay men living with HIV), including a 3-day-2-night summer retreat to Five Oaks Retreat Centre.

Held a successful second annual Ontario Positive Asians (OPA+) Gathering with over 25 Asians living with HIV in Ontario. Invited to speak at the inaugural Positive Action Conference in Taiwan and presented on the Ontario Positive Asians (OPA+) Network at the Global Network of People Living with HIV (GNP+) Networking Zone and Canadian Pavilion at AIDS2016 in Durban, South Africa.



ACAS reduces the infection of HIV/AIDS by promoting public awareness on HIV/AIDS prevention and safer sex in the Asian communities. By engaging the community through events and cultural festivals, we reach new populations, increase involvement within the community, and increase access to the services and programs at ACAS.


A list of Asian luminaries including political powerhouse, Ryerson University Distinguished Visiting Professor, and long-time equality campaigner Olivia Chow, Trillium Book Award Winner writer Wayson Choy, and video artist, writer, public intellectual and theorist Richard Fung, along with over 300 other guests, attended the ACAS Sweet 16 CelebrAsian for Queer Asian Youth (QAY) Fundraising Gala in May 2016.

100 ACAS once again worked together with CCNCTO (Chinese Canadian National Council Toronto Chapter) to organize PinkDot Toronto. This event was a march of more than 100 attendees to show solidarity and celebration of LGBTQ+ Asian identities within the Toronto community. We had the pleasure of working with some amazing groups like Scadding Court Community Centre and 15 for Fairness, along with speeches and performances from community members.


In the past year, we’ve had 16 media engagements with local ethnic and international media outlets. Completed 6 local and 5 international public engagements to over 450 attendees.

Coordinated the ACAS ScotiaRun Charity Challenge with 32 runners/walkers, 7 teams, and raised $24,172!


condom packages handed out at Halloween on Church St.


Conducted 11 outreach sessions at East & Southeast Asian community events reaching 838 people. Some of which included an educational component to increase engagement (i.e. Trans 101, LGBT 101, Church street tour).

November 20 is Transgender Day of Remembrance, and ACAS/QAY honoured the day by hosting the QAY Talent Showcase + Movie Nite fundraiser to help support QAY and other ACAS programs and projects that support trans Asians.

As part of our community outreach, we also hand out condom packages at special events like Halloween on Church St, Asian Xpress, Matsuri, and Destination Thailand. To raise awareness of World AIDS Day, ACAS handed out condom packages and ribbons at St. Patrick and Wellesley subway stations promoting our Red Ribbon On The Rocket campaign.

This year we saw Isabel Mendoza rise to claim her crown as Miss ACAS 2016. The Miss ACAS Pageant raises money to support our Queer Asian Youth Program, which helps build new leaders from queer Asian youths in the Greater Toronto Area.


Miss ACAS 2016 Isabel Mendoza along with all the beautiful Filipina Queens leading the ACAS contingent in the Pride Parade

FINANCIAL STATEMENT ASIAN COMMUNITY AIDS SERVICES Statement of Revenues and Expenditures Year Ended March 31, 2016 2016


Grants - Public Health Agency of Canada

$ 77,600

$ 77,600

Grants - Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care



Grants - City of Toronto












Grants - Community One Foundation Grants - T he Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD) Grants - Canadian Institute of Health Research Grants - Service Canada’s Summer Student Employment Grants - Canada-Ontario Employment Program



Grants - M.A.C. AIDS Fund



Grants - Toronto Arts Council (ArtReach)









Advertising and promotion



Amortization - equipment







Donations and fundraising revenue Others


Bank charges Consultants - projects Equipment and furniture purchased Fundraising





Office and general



Office rent (Note 5)





Professional fees



Programs and educational materials









PHA programs and activities

Salaries and wages Staff development and support Youth internship Travel



Utilities, telephone and communications







$ 691

$ 585

Workshops, conferences and volunteer expenses



Adrian C. Adrian S. Ai Y. Aidan A. Al D. Alan L. Alan T. Alexandra L. Allisa B. Alvin C. Amy C. Amy H. Amy P. Anaheta R. Andrea S. Andy T. Andy T. Anthony O. Anthony T. Anthony T. Aqeela N. Aries C. Atom W. Atom W. Aurora R. Axel L. Ayaka M. Ayan A.

Barbara A. Ben L. Bill (Wenze) L. Billy F. Bing L. Brian C. Brian D. Brian Z. Bridges B. Bryan T. Caitlin S. Cameron A. Carmen S. Carrie K. Carrie K. Catherine L. Catherine N. Chen-Hung Dev L. Cheryl L. Chihomi Y. Chrisitne L. Chuck Y.L. Chunghun L. Constantine C. Darwin A. DengMin C. Dento L. Derek Y.

Diane L. Eddy W. Edward Q. Efendy Elaine L. Ellen D.L. Emily H. Emma C. Emma W. Emma W. Emmett P. Erika Y. Esther K. Eva S. Felix C. Felix C. Floyd B. Frank Y. Gabriel M. Gary W. Gennie P. Gerson M. Gina C. Giovanni T. Gregory L. Haifeng Yu. Hannah P. Harry A.

Harry L. Haruhi K. Haruno N. Henry L. Henry N. Hiro T. Hiroyuki A. Hung D. N. Hung N. Hunter W. Hye Lim P. Hye P. Hyung Wook C. Inae L. Inex B. I. Ivan V. Jacquiline U. Jaeyoung S. Jaeyoung P. Janet L. Jason C. Jason K. Jason L. Jason L. Jasper W. Jayjay R. Jeff G. Jeffrey W.

VOLUNTEER APPRECIATION Here at ACAS, volunteer work is greatly appreciated, and we sincerely thank all of our volunteers for donating their time and energy to make things happen. Our appreciation was also expressed at a number of volunteer recognition events held throughout the year.

Jen C. Jenny C. Jenny G. Jessica Y. Jessico O. Jet M. Jia S. Q. Jian Ru J. Jiawen K. Jieun L. Jin C. Jocelyn G. Jonathan D. Joseph C. Joseph T. Joshii R. Joy C. Ju Hyuk P. Julia L. Jun E. Jun E. June P. June V. Justin C. Justin C. Justin K. Karen C. Katherine C.

Katherine R. Kaya T. Kazuhiko H. Kazuki T. Kazuma K. Keith T. Keith T. Kelvin Y. Ken L. Kenett N. Kevin L. Keybi G. Kien N. Koji T. Kyu F. Lance P. Lee C. Leo Y Levi D. Li Zhen Z. Lily S. Ling N. Lorenz B. Lucinda Q. Lydia L. Maggie C. Melina L. Minh T. Minzhen (Jennifer) H. Nalini M. Natsuki T. Nigel Y. Paul L. Peter T. River Kenji F. Robin Z. Robn A. Sahar H. Sam K. Sang (Rafael) K. B. Shu Jie (Jack) L. Sophia Y. Takuya S. Tao X. Testuro M.

Thana T. Thuya A. Thompson N. Ti P. Tim N. Tim S. Tony C. Vhil C. Victor P. Viel P. Vince H. Wonwoo L. XiaoChun Z. Xueying G. Yachun L. Yan M. Yee Ling L. Yoichi H. Young Hee K. Younghee K. Yuki O. Zarina M.


Based on a peer model, ACAS recruits its members and volunteers directly from the community it serves, thus empowering and strengthening leadership within the community.

Board of Directors 2015-2016 Paul Cadiente (Board Chair) Paul Fernandez (Vice Chair) Steven Shi (Treasurer) Ronnie Chu (Secretary) Jazzmine Manalo (Director) Janice Kwan (Director) Keybi Guan (Director) Elene Lam (Director) Tao Xie (Director) Outgoing Board Members Ronnie Chu Tao Xie

Staff Members Andrew Miao Brian-Bao Ly Christian Hui Gabriel Bacani James Lee Jenny S. Cheng Jun Emperador June Pagador-Ramirez Kenneth Poon Michael Adia Mina Heng Noulmook Sutdhibhasilp Ryan Tran Trisha Steinberg Vhil Castillejos

Outgoing Staff Euan Hwang Mezart Daulet Ray Garcia Richard Utama Summer Student Vhil Castillejos Placement Student Heidi Cho Jack Li

PERSONNEL FUNDERS & SPONSORS Funders AIDS Community Action Program, Public Health Agency of Canada (ACAP) AIDS Bureau, Ministry of Health and Long-term Care Canada Summer Jobs (CSJ) Program, Service Canada Dept of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Investment in Youth Engagement Program, City of Toronto M.A.C. AIDS Foundation Rainbow Grant, Community One Foundation Sports and Recreation Grants, City of Toronto Toronto Urban Health Fund, City of Toronto Corporate and Community Sponsors Asian Xpress Barbara Adach Connie Chung GIlbert Chang Gilead Sciences Inc. Holiday Inn Toronto, Bloor-Yorkville Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc. Merck Pharmaceuticals Moss Park PharmaChoice Pharmacy PACE Pharmacy Rotaract club Spa Excess Oxford College ViiV Healthcare Annual Report Design Ryan Tran Cover Photo Tony Chen

We wish to thank all our donors, sponsors, and volunteers whose names are too many to mention here for their continued support.