Programming Connection

Sharing Together For Life  

Université du Québec à Montréal (UQÀM)

What is the Program?

Sharing Together for Life is an HIV disclosure program that was designed and assessed through a community research project undertaken by the Canada Research Chair in Education and Health at the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM).* The program was designed to help women better understand the impact of disclosure or non-disclosure of their HIV-positive status in different situations and to help them set up a permanent support system.

The program, which does not favour disclosure over non-disclosure, is made up of a series of nine workshops facilitated by a service provider and an HIV-positive woman. It encourages reflection through discussions and interactive activities. The program is not a form of group therapy. Rather, it helps participants to share, learn and think about the potentially sensitive issue of disclosing their HIV-positive status.

Main goals:

  • to help  participants make  proactive and educated decisions in regard to disclosure in different situations
  • to help participants plan strategies that allow them to cope with their decision to disclose or not to disclose
  • to prepare participants to manage difficult situations or negative experiences that may occur during a planned or unwanted disclosure
  • to help participants express their feelings concerning the disclosure or non-disclosure of their HIV-positive status
  • to educate participants about Canadian laws relating to the disclosure of their HIV-positive status
  • to foster relationships, knowledge sharing and support in a group of women

* Other partners include: ACCM (AIDS Community Care Montreal/Sida Bénévoles Montréal), Public Health Agency of Canada, ARCAD-SIDA, L’A.R.C.H.E. de l’Estrie, BLITS (Bureau local d’intervention traitant du sida), BRAS-Outaouais (Bureau Régional d’Action Sida – Outaouais), BRISS-Côte-Nord (Bureau régional d’information en santé sexuelle), CASM (Centre d’Action SIDA Montréal – Femmes), CATIE, Centre Sida Amitié, CHU Sainte-Justine, CLSC des Faubourgs, COCQ-SIDA, La Coalition PLUS internationale, Corporation Félix Hubert d’Hérelle, Centre de Ressources et d’Interventions en Santé et Sexualité, CSSS Jeanne-Mance, GAP-VIES, GEIPSI, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, M.A.I.N.S.- Bas-Saint-Laurent, Maison Plein Coeur, MIELS-Québec, Le Miens-Chicoutimi, Sidaction Mauricie, Sida-Vie Laval, Stella, Université Laval, Université de Montréal, Université du Québec à Montréal (Department of Sexology, Canada Research Chair in Education and Health, School of Social Work)