Durham Chronicle Volume XLIV, Issue 11
16 The Chronicle April 10 - 16, 2018 chronicle.durhamcollege.ca Campus A preventative for HIV Heather Snowdon The Chronicle A new drug is being given to anyone interested in protecting themselves against HIV. A daily pill has been introduced to Durham Region as a preventative for HIV. Although it is not a cure, prevention is a step forward regarding sexual health in Ontario. “I know I’m looking forward to seeing the benefits,” said Devorah Garland, from the AIDS Committee of Durham Region. According to the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-term Care, the estimated number of people in Ontario living with HIV/ AIDS was over 26,000 people in 2008. The most recent available statistics are from 2014 when there were 71 new cases of AIDS reported in Ontario and 745 cases of HIV. The preventative drug, known as pre-exposure prophylaxis, is meant to prevent the spreading of HIV. According to the Secretary’s Minority AIDS Initiative Fund, it is recommended that people not in monogamous relationships, gay or bisexual men, heterosexual men and women who don’t use condoms or have been diagnosed with an STI in the past six months and people who use injection drugs have higher risks of contracting HIV and should take the preventative pill as a precaution. Sexual Health Ontario says the difference between the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is that while HIV is a virus, AIDS is the virus developed to a late stage. This means AIDS may lead to common illnesses becoming life-threatening. According to The Ontario Ministry of Health and Longterm Care, there are five at-risk populations for contracting HIV in Ontario: gay and bisexual men, African and Caribbean men and women, people who use injection drugs, Indigenous peoples and women. The AIDS Committee of Durham Region has sectors which support these populations and split them into sectors. The sectors include women; youth; the black, African and Caribbean communities; Indigenous peoples; men who have sex with men (MSM). According to The Ontario HIV Treatment Network, there were an estimated 5,100 to 8,000 women living with HIV in Ontario in 2015. About 10 per cent of youths in Ontario are living with HIV, which is much lower than other sectors, but they still need support. The black, African and Caribbean communities have a population of 25 per cent of people living with HIV in Ontario. The Indigenous community has 30 per cent of people living with HIV in 2015, according to The Indigenous People and HIV in Ontario. The MSM population had an estimated 1,500 to 2,800 diagnoses in 2011. The sectors are split because of funding, says Garland. Different In tune with nature sectors get different funding, such as donations and government funding. The AIDS Committee of Durham Region, offers clean needles and a safe haven for anyone in need or are facing drug problems. They’re able to get clean needles from the AIDS Committee of Durham Region and not worry about spreading or contracting HIV or AIDS by using injection drugs. There are many reasons why someone might contract HIV. “We are able to help the most vulnerable people,” said Garland. According to The Ontario HIV Treatment Network, each year one in six people diagnosed in Ontario is a woman. Women ages 30 to 34 have a higher risk than any other age group of contracting HIV. Garland started working for the AIDS Committee of Durham Region six years ago. She started a program which specifically focuses on women living with HIV/AIDS in Oshawa. “I started the program six years ago after I realized how many women were living with HIV and in need of support.” said Garland. “There are many reasons why a woman might contract HIV.” She says, lifestyle, drug dependency, poor living conditions and violence all contribute to the likelihood of women contracting the disease. “Some women feel they don’t owe it to themselves to get checked or ask a partner the last time they were checked, this is some of the reason why women have high rates of contracting HIV. Often women contract HIV and AIDS for certain reasons… by sharing needles, not using condoms, women living in poverty, sex work and women who experience violence all play a part in the likelihood of a woman contracting HIV,” Garland said. However, Garland said, “HIV is not like it used to be.” Some of the negative effects people living with HIV used to face are no longer prevalent. Today, HIV can be treated with antiretroviral drugs which means the virus is no longer detectable in the blood. According to Canada’s source for HIV and hepatitis C information, an undetectable trace doesn’t mean there is not HIV in the body, it means the amount of HIV in the blood is too low to be measured using available tests. According to The Global Information and Education on HIV and AIDS, if treated, the virus is harmless. A mother cannot breastfeed even if the results come back as undetectable. “Even if the test comes back negative, it’s not safe to breastfeed,” said Garland. The Caribbean, African and black community also experiences high numbers of people living with HIV/AIDS. Dane Record, African and Caribbean Outreach Coordinator at The AIDS Committee of Durham Region, said, “We play a big role here.” He started volunteering for the committee when he was 16 and after putting in ten years of his time, was offered a job and now works tirelessly to make change for the people he works for. Record said, “The numbers are high. Black men and women, African and Caribbean communities all need our support.” Record works sometimes six or seven days a week. “The work never ends. There is always someone in need and sometimes I can’t even turn off my phone because it’s always ringing,” he said, regarding the time needed to help people who are living with HIV in Durham Region. “I want to see everyone live long, healthy lives,” said Garland. Record said, “it’s all worth when we get to see the changes we make here in the city.” The preventative drug for HIV can be administered by your doctor. If you have concerns or questions, make an appointment to find out if the pill may work for you. Kaatje Henrick The Chronicle The organization that helps keep Oshawa’s lakes, rivers and conservation areas clean and safe, celebrates its 60th anniversary. Central Lake Ontario Conservation Authority (CLOCA) opened in 1958 in the aftermath of Hurricane Hazel’s damage. CLOCA’s role in Oshawa is to teach the public about restoring and protecting the environment. The organization manages watersheds, an area of land drained by water, from Bowmanville to Whitby. Cathy Grant has been an educator with CLOCA for 25 years. Her role includes running programs for students. She also is working with other organizations such as Ducks Unlimited, OPG, and various levels of government. “I have been doing this for quite some time, and I love it. I love educating the kids about what they should be doing to protect our land, because they are the future,” says Grant. The educational program is designed to teach younger generations about conservation. Schools boards including Durham Catholic, Kawartha Pineridge, Peterborough Catholic, private schools and home schools are also welcome to participate. CLOCA educates at least 6,000 kids a year, says Grant. “All kids these days are so attached to their cell phones, and their iPads, and they’re not spending enough time outside,” says Grant. She says the program gets many different reactions from kids. “Some jump in full-heartedly and are in the water up their shoulders, some children don’t want to get dirty, and my favourite reaction is to the kids when they see a frog for the first time,” says Grant. She says their goal is to introduce the outdoors to the children at a young age in hopes that the students will want to protect it. CLOCA plays a significant role in Oshawa’s eco-system. CLOCA also puts on events every year such as the Maple Syrup and Watershed festivals, as well as sugar bush tours that anyone can attend. CLOCA has a volunteer program that allows the public to take part in all activities it hosts. “We have had many parents visit CLOCA because they want to be involved just as much as their kids are,” says Grant. “We have opportunities for adults including supervising, hosting or even being a tour guide for our local conservation areas.”
Community chronicle.durhamcollege.ca April 10 - 16, 2018 The Chronicle 17 Tanks are booming into new museum Serving soldiers with a new building Tiago de Oliveira The Chronicle Visiting the Ontario Regiment Museum is an excellent way to learn more about the history of Oshawa, and have a coulourful conversation about which country’s tanks are better. “The best way to kill an Abrams, they’re easy,” said Robert Sanders, Canadian veteran and facilities maintenance coordinator for The Ontario Regiment Museum. Talking about the American Abrams heavy tank and how it can be destoryed. Due to its heavy smoke emission, volume, and visibility, he described as, ‘a piece of sh*t.’ Sanders was amused with the battle tactics of tank warfare, especially the logistics of disabling a heavy tank with a bit of prep work. “Dig a small trench on the path they’re coming down. Put a heatproof blanket over top of ya. Then sit there with an RPG, and you let the tank go by you. Two kilometres behind is the fuel truck, you get up and, boom, the fuel truck is gone. He can go another 30 or 40 miles until he has no fuel, and then he’s stuck.” Oshawa is going to be seeing a lot more tanks in the coming months. Tankfully, the machines are for the public’s education and appreciation of military history, and not a violent conflict hitting the streets. The Ontario Regiment Museum is undergoing expansions to better showcase their collection of tanks and military artifacts. The new facility was approved by Oshawa City Hall last year and is something museum staff say Oshawa has to be proud of, as the museum is one of only six in the world that has operational tanks and armoured vehicles. The museum’s growing collection will, in part, be housed in the new Military Vehicle Conservation Center. Due to be delivered around October or November 2018, is a Jagdpanzer 38 “Hetzer,” which is a WWII German tank destroyer type. The machine is under restoration in Poland and was purchased with donations to the museum. Sara Jago, a research assistant and tour guide at the museum, said the museum which is a non-profit, is sustained almost entirely from donations and what profits they make from their shows and occasionally get government grants. The new facility is sorely needed. Jago says, “We have two other buildings that are chalked full of stuff that we have to rotate out vehicles and artifacts all the time just because of the amount of stuff the museum has accumulated over its lifetime.” The museum is already something that is unique to the entire country. Photograph by Tiago de Oliveira Inside the Ontario Regiment Museum on Simcoe Street North. A tank sits outside of the R.S. McLaughlin Armoury in Oshawa. Occasionally, some vehicles are left to stand in the rain. Jeremy Neal Blowers, executive director of the museum, said the new facility will be for storage of tanks and military equipment, to protect them from the elements and, “ensure they are available to future generations to learn from and enjoy.” The Military Vehicle Conservation Center with be a 17,000 sq. ft. free span structure. The construction is being managed by DANCO General Contractors and engineered by D.G. Biddle and Associates Ltd. So far the estimated cost of the new building is $1.1 million. Projections suggested the building would be completed in April. However, as Blowers says, “The winter has been a difficult one with many fluctuations… it now looks like it will be open just in time for our AQUINO Tank Weekend event in early June.” The AQUINO is a tank weekend event at the museum with live demonstrations and re-enactments and is Canada’s largest military show each year. According to Jago, last year’s AQUINO had 5,000 visitors. Blowers explained the expansion itself was planned several years ago due to the large size of the “fleet,” which is currently capped out at 83 vehicles. The machines have outgrown the space of the current facilities. Blowers said the museum acquires around one to three vehicles annually. Sanders said it will probably be until summer before electrical gets done. “Once that structure’s finished, it becomes my problem. It will be a huge display bay.” Currently visitors can see 12-15 vehicles in the current display bay due to the limited available space. Blowers says, “The new building will be a game changer, as we will be able to display 50-60 of our vehicles at any one time for the public to enjoy.” Kolten Hooper is a Durham College Environmental Technology student and has been volunteering at the museum’s workshop for five years. “It started with my community service hours. I got hooked on it, I couldn’t stop… It’s a great experience, I come here every weekend,” Hooper said. He works in the mechanical division and is interested in the maintenance of the vehicles, which the museum does in-house. Hooper said the museum is seeing more volunteers as time goes on, and the upcoming expansions mark an important milestone for the museum. “It’s really exciting for me, we have such a great museum here. The artifacts and pieces, there’s so much to see, and there’s going to be even more into the future,” said Hooper. Blowers said, “What is really exciting is that this museum is already something that is unique to the entire country and very rare in the world. As our museum grows, it is gaining more National and International attention and that is great for the City of Oshawa and the (Durham) Region.” “We will be able to display more vehicles and tell more stories about these vehicles and the Canadian’s that served in them as we expand,” Blowers said. Jago says military history is important so that we as the public can discern the myth of war from the reality. “We really want to highlight what life was really like for soldiers in this regiment… Because it’s not all glory as the movies tend to depict,” Jago said. The museum found approval in City Development Services, The Planning and Building Department, with support from the mayor’s office. The expansion was first approved by the City of Oshawa in August 2017. Blowers said the process was “extensive” and the foundation permit was received in October 2017. As the museum is a non-profit, the expansions were funded by donors and community sponsors. Private donors and foundations also made large financial donations. For example, the concrete for the project was donated by Dufferin Photograph by Tiago de Oliveira Concrete and CRH Canada. MBSL Ltd, DANCO General Contractors, D.G. Biddle and Associates Ltd. also donated some services. Blowers says that without these partners the expansions, “would not be a reality.” Blowers is also looking forward to completion of the new facility, if nothing else than because the process is a “double-edged sword.” “I am very excited for the future and the way in which this new building will enhance and expand our operations but it is very difficult running a fast-growing organization and managing a building project of this size. Dealing with all the permits, contractors, suppliers and issues that arise is very challenging day-to-day, in addition to the duties of an executive director,” Blowers said. The first set of expansions are nearing completion, with additional facilities and hangers planned. The military history of Oshawa will be out in full display soon enough, much to the liking of the museum’s staff and executives. “I will be greatly relieved once it’s complete,” said Blowers. The Ontario Regiment Museum will be hosting the AQUINO event on the weekend of June 9 and 10. Photograph by Tiago de Oliveira Robert Sanders is a veteran.