March 24th, 2014
It is with great sadness that we announce that, as of March 31, 2014, the Victoria AIDS Resource & Community Service Society (VARCS) will be closing its doors. VARCS staff and board were devastated to learn that after 23 years of service, Island Health (formerly known as Vancouver Island Health Authority) will no longer be continuing its funding.
VARCS has provided comprehensive distribution and collection of harm reduction supplies to Greater Victoria, Sooke, the Saanich Peninsula and Sidney . VARCS provided support to persons living with HIV/AIDS, while simultaneously working to prevent the spread of this disease and other blood-borne illnesses, through our mobile harm reduction services and needle exchange program. VARCS staff, through taking a strength-based approach, tirelessly supported service users, throughout the full spectrum of recovery. This included providing essential life skills, which allowed people to live happier and healthier lives. The closing of our doors means that people living in the South Island area will have diminished social supports, which could have serious health consequences.
For more information:
Chair of VARCS
Victoria AIDS Resource & Community Service Society is a non-profit group in Victoria BC, Canada, providing practical, emotional and social support to people living with, or at risk of contracting HIV/AIDS. We provide programs such as advocacy, referrals, education, the Mobile X needle exchange, and Positively Connected.
The Mobile X needle exchange provides free harm reduction supplies and resource information. Mobile X works with people to help reduce the risk of contracting HIV and other blood borne infections. We assist people to gain better access to health and social services in the Greater Victoria area.
The Mobile X serves a wide geographic area, from Sooke to the Western Communities to Downtown Victoria and to Sidney.