AIDS Community Care Montreal (ACCM)
Kontak is a service offered by AIDS Community Care Montreal (ACCM) to people who are either organizers or participants of sex parties on the island of Montreal, primarily men who have sex with men. The service offers affordable sex equipment, and free condoms and lube while also providing sexual health resources and information about HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs). One counsellor is employed full-time to run Kontak, working closely with 10 volunteers, most of whom have firsthand experience in sex parties or the sex industry.
The program also serves people who use substances. Kontak delivers free syringes and crack pipes. Last year alone, the service distributed close to 4,800 condoms, bottles of lube and sex toys at events and had over 1,500 interactions. The program is set up to engage people in further conversations. The counsellor encourages those who are interested to go for STI and HIV testing or to visit ACCM to talk about safer sex, their drug use or managing their health.
Kontak has gained momentum since its start in 2014, expanding to include a website where people can order party packages for pickup or delivery.
One of the challenges of running a program like this is being able to cater to a diverse crowd. “Who runs this program and how they interact in these spaces is integral to its success,” says Matthew Halse, executive director of ACCM. “You need to work with members of the community in order to get included in these spaces without intruding,” he goes on to explain. Montreal has no other program like Kontak and its outreach workers are busy year-round, offering support in a sex-positive way.
To find out more about Kontak, visit their website at accmkontak.com or contact one of their outreach support workers at firstname.lastname@example.org.