AIDS Vancouver Island announces launch of new brand and identity

Changes reflects transition of HIV/AIDS as incurable deadly disease to chronic manageable condition

This summer AIDS Vancouver Island (AVI) is launching a new name and brand identity, becoming AVI Health & Community Services Society.

Research within the organization and with branding agency ID2, determined evolving AVI’s brand rather than completely changing it was essential to reflect the broad range of services the agency now provides, while honouring their foundational approach to human rights and social justice. Over the last 34 years, AVI services have grown to include hepatitis C, harm reduction distribution, overdose prevention services, Opioid Agonist Therapy (OAT), Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) and dedicated case management support for people living with HIV (PLWH).

AVI is a community-based AIDS Service Organization (ASO) providing integrated support services to individuals with HIV on Vancouver Island. Founded in 1985 by five gay men – Wayne Cook, Don MacIvor, Roy Salonin, John Spencer, and Grant Sullivan – AVI has provided community-based services and supports during HIV/AIDS epidemic and support for people living with HIV (PLWH) on Vancouver Island.

When AVI started, its primary goal was to help community members facing incredible stigma, marginalization and a lack of appropriate response from society, government and healthcare systems. Although the AIDS epidemic has changed dramatically over the past three decades, gay, bi and other men who have sex with men (gbMSM) are still disproportionately affected by the virus and supporting these communities continues to be vital to meeting the UNAIDS 90-90-90 targets to help eliminate AIDS. In addition, the need for services with other groups has grown, including but not limited to; women, people who use illicit drugs, Indigenous people, immigrants, people who experience detention or incarceration, and those living in poverty, with addictions or other social determinants to health.

The new identity reflects on AVI’s five founders and the agency’s history of providing care that is integrated, supportive and non-judgmental, while also building on the diverse array of services currently provided by AVI locations throughout Vancouver Island. Our new logo honours the five founders and five locations (blood drops, ribbons) and red- and yellow-ribbons of HIV and Hep C.

“As HIV and AIDS in Canada changes, so too must AVI’s mission, scope of services and supports for people across Vancouver Island living with or affected by HIV, hepatitis C, and substance use. AVI will always be AIDS Vancouver Island – we honour that legacy while acknowledging the true scope, scale and increased range of services and supports AVI provides to improve the health of people on Vancouver Island,” said Chad Dickie, Board Chair, AVI Health & Community Services Society

About AVI Health & Community Services Society

AVI Health & Community Services Society’s (AVI) mission is to promote health, dignity, and well-being for all people affected by HIV, HCV, and substance use by delivering sex-positive and harm reduction based education, prevention, and support service.

They are a community-based health and social service provider with offices in the communities of Victoria, Westshore, Nanaimo, the Comox Valley and Campbell River. Their catchment area also includes all of the Gulf Islands. AVI provides education, advocacy and support to people living with or impacted by HIV, hepatitis C and substance use. AVI has been a leader in harm reduction efforts across Vancouver Island including providing distribution, overdose prevention services and training and education. AVI also operates 2 integrated health centres providing Opioid Agonist Therapy (OAT) to more than 350 people in the Westshore and Nanaimo.

AVI’s effectiveness is derived from their role in the community and their connections with the populations most impacted by HIV, hepatitis C and illicit substance use.