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Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: ‘What! You too? I thought I was the only one.
~C.S. Lewis

Support Programs

A wide variety of women access our support services, and we use their input to guide us. We are trans-inclusive and child-friendly. Some women drop in every week, others for the lunch or grocery programs, others only attend weekend retreats. Hopefully you’ll find a fit with what we offer. If you don’t, let us know what would be helpful to you.

If you’re outside the Lower Mainland, we can connect on the phone (call us toll-free at 1.866.692.3001) or via email.  If you want to find out about our ongoing and special events, check the monthly calendar.

If you want more information about support programs, please contact the Support Program Coordinator, Bronwyn Barrett.

Individual Support

Support Workers provide one-to-one support for members who are facing challenges. We respect women’s choices in helping them gain access to services and resources. We also provide referrals to a wide variety of health care services and professionals, social support services and community agencies. Members are encouraged to contact support workers with any questions related to HIV diagnosis, prevention, related health risks or concerns, advocacy, support programs, and resources. We offer women a safe and confidential environment in which to speak openly.

Support Groups

PWN offers different kinds of support groups based on where women want to focus. Contact us to find out what is available.

Weekend Retreats

“I absolutely love coming to retreats. It is something I look forward to as a positive woman living in BC” (Member attending a retreat on Bowen Island).

Weekend retreats are a wonderful opportunity for HIV+ women from across BC to come together for peer support, fun, relaxation and sharing information. All costs are covered by PWN, including travel costs for women coming from across the province. For more information about what happens at a retreat, visit the Weekend Wellness Retreat page.

Nervous about going for the first time? Don’t be. Retreats are magic.

Lunch Program

Our lunch program runs every Tuesday from 12 to 2 p.m. Lunches are free for PWN members and their children. Feel free to drop by!

Drop-in Centre

Drop-in hours are Mondays through Thursdays, 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The drop-in is comfortable and confidential. Come in to meet other women, connect with a support worker, or use the free phone and computer. Check our monthly calendar for special events and for the days we are closed.

Food Bank

The grocery is run in partnership with AIDS Vancouver. Regular grocery clients of AIDS Vancouver who are also PWN members can pick up groceries from us. Contact us if you’d like to pick up your food at PWN.

Aboriginal-Specific Activities

We know it’s important for Aboriginal women to be able to connect in culturally comfortable ways. We offer Aboriginal women’s retreats and day programming that include going to sweat lodges, mother’s groups, sharing circles, and ceremonies. We can also offer relevant information and referrals to Aboriginal members.

Housing Subsidies

We have a limited number of portable housing subisdies that they can be used anywhere in BC. Members are welcome to fill out a one-page Housing Waitlist Subsidy Application, and when a subsidy becomes available, those who still need housing will be asked to fill out a more comprehensive application.

Outreach Visits

Support Workers will visit members who are unable to come into the drop-in when possible. We can also process new member intakes in St. Paul’s Hospital or on outreach visits. Contact us to schedule a visit or get more information.

Information Referrals and Workshops

PWN staff provide a wide range of information on HIV-related subjects and answers to your questions. These services can be provided in person, over the phone, via email, or by mail. We also provide a wide range of community and medical service-related referrals to members and the public. As well we hold educational workshops for members on topics such as diabetes and menopause.

Peer Support

Talk to other positive women about diagnosis, disclosure, decisions about treatment, or other challenges HIV is sending your way.

Prevention Information

Prevention information can be found on our HIV: Your Body section of the site. You’ll find information one the basics of HIV, transmission, treatment options, and more. The drop-in can be a great place to talk to other members, and retreats offer workshops on prevention too.

Support for Family and Care Providers

Many friends, partners, and family members of HIV+ women have concerns and questions too. We try to meet these needs by providing up-to-date information and informal support over the phone, by e-mail, or in person.