Posts Tagged ‘Prevention’

Diaphragms are back, and better than ever!

Health services coordinator Jos shows the Caya diaphragm and spermicide!

Jos with Caya and contragel

As part two in our series about barrier contraceptives (see our March post about the Femcap), we’re excited to announce that Head & Hands is now distributing the CAYA diaphragm! The CAYA diaphragm has recently been approved for sale in Canada, so if you`re looking for hormone-free and user controlled birth control, check it out! When used in conjunction with contragel (aka Cayagel), the CAYA diaphragm works as a mechanical barrier to block sperm from entering the cervix during vaginal intercourse. As with any barrier device, its effectiveness depends on how dedicated you are to using it properly. When used correctly, the CAYA diaphragm is as effective at preventing pregnancies as condoms. Unlike older diaphragm models, you don’t need to be fitted by a doctor because one size fits most users. It’s also made out of durable silicone and can be used for two years.

Caya Diaphragm!

Caya Diaphragm!

Interested? You can purchase a CAYA diaphragm (sold at cost) from Head & Hands for $70. Tubes of contragel are available as well for 20$. Check out the CAYA website for more info and insertion videos. To purchase a diaphragm from us or for more info, contact our Health Services Coordinator, Mylène, at (514) 481-0277 or You can also just swing by our office at 5833 Sherbrooke West! PLEASE note we do not ship the CAYA or gel.  Don’t worry though, you can order the CAYA online via Anarres Health (they are also the Canadian distributor for the Femcap)!

Why I’m voting for Street Work: Ralph


“I’m voting for Street Work because it helps me connect to the youth on the street and understand their needs, to be able to provide adequate support.” Ralph, Head & Hands Legal Coordinator

Vote for us every day between December 3 and 12 to help us win $87K and bring back Street Work!

Why I’m voting for Street Work: Jon


“In many ways, street work is the essence of why Head & Hands exists – we *need* this program to support the youth in our community who get the least help from others.” Jon, Head & Hands Director

Vote for us every day between December 3 and 12 to help us win $87K and bring back Street Work!

Why I’m voting for Street Work: Gina


“Street work has been a crucial part of Head & Hands since its inception in 1970. Since then, street workers have played a variety of roles in our community: conducting outreach and making youth aware of our services, running prevention and education programs, and extending the reach of essential services beyond our doors to reach youth in greatest need. Researching this history has made me realize how vital this program is for NDG youth; it is essential that we bring back this service to our neighborhood! “ – Gina Metallic, Master of Social Work Student Intern

Vote for us every day between December 3 and 12 to help us win $87K and bring back Street Work!

Why I’m voting for Street Work: June


“I’m voting for Street Work because I think every youth should be valued and supported, no matter what challenges they face.” Juniper, Head & Hands Fundraising and Development Coordinator

Vote for us every day between December 3 and 12 to help us win $87K and bring back Street Work!

Why I’m voting for Street Work: Rhonda


“Without the Street Work team, I have lost contact with many very important clients and have not been able to reach out to others who do not know I exist.” Rhonda, Head & Hands Counselor

Vote for us every day between December 3 and 12 to help us win $87K and bring back Street Work!

Why I’m voting for Street Work: Neil


“Our Street Workers are our eyes and ears on the street that outreach to the people, to be one with the people. We are not getting a certain influx of the youth that might cross the path of Street Workers. We want them back.” Neil, J2K Coordinator, our teen drop-in centre in NDG.

Vote for us every day between December 3 and 12 to help us win $87K and bring back Street Work!

Ask Anything: When to get tested?


Do you have to get tested after every time you have sex? If not, how often?

I wouldn’t recommend getting tested after every time you have sex. First off, for some people or at certain times in a person’s life, this would mean getting tested many times a week…which could be time consuming! Secondly, and most importantly, there is a technical aspect related to getting accurate test results.

A lot of STIs have what’s called a “window period”. This relates to the amount of time between the transmission of the STI (when someone is infected) and when a medical test would be able to detect the STI. To state it simply, the window period is the time where an STI is alive in your body, is totally contagious, but is still undetectable by a test.  For example, Chlamydia’s window period is 3 to 10 days, but HIV’s window period is 3 to 6 months. This means that if you’ve had sex and are worried about having contracted HIV, you have to wait 3 to 6 months to get accurate test results (in most cases, the test will be accurate after 3 months but to be sure, it’s important to get tested after 6 months as well).

So in general, when you are sexually active, you should get tested for STIs every 6 months even if you use protection – that way, you cover all the window periods of the different tests. People sometimes choose to get tested every year, or even less often, if they have one partner and they’ve agreed on a monogamous relationship.

You can also download are bilingual STIgma Zine to get more information on different STIs, safer sex and communication with partners about these things!

Knowledge is power: New video + Rapid HIV Testing Night!


Head & Hands is hosting a rapid HIV testing clinic on Thursday, March 31st, 2011, between 5-8pm.

This free service is available for youth aged 12 to 25. Limited spaces are available; the clinic is first-come, first-served.

Rapid testing allows people to get results in a matter of minutes, in contrast to conventional HIV testing which typically involves a two-to-three week delay before getting results. This delay can cause a lot of anxiety and in many cases act as a significant barrier to getting tested. In fact, 76% of people who received rapid-HIV testing at Head & Hands on World AIDS Day listed “less anxiety” as the reason they prefer rapid-testing to regular testing. Head & Hands uses INSTI™ HIV-1/HIV-2* Antibody Test, which provides the same accuracy in results as standard HIV testing (99.96%).

This is the second time that a rapid HIV testing clinic is being offered at Head & Hands. It is a new project that has been developed with the support of the Farha Foundation. The first clinic was offered on World AIDS Day and was very successful: 92% of youth who were tested said that they preferred rapid HIV testing to regular testing, and 100% said they would get rapid testing done again.

In keeping with Head & Hands mission, this clinic aims to provide services that empower youth to make healthy life choices. By offering this confidential, free and rapid HIV testing night, we aim to facilitate Montreal youths access to HIV testing and to do so in a holistic and harm reductive manner. Counseling will be available on site.

Here’s the Facebook event, if you’re interested!


À deux mains offrira pour la deuxième fois sa clinique de dépistage rapide du VIH, jeudi le 31 mars, 2011, entre 17h et 20h.

Le service sera offert gratuitement pour les jeunes âgés entre 12 et 25 ans. Nombre de places limitées.

Le dépistage rapide permet d’obtenir les résultats en approximativement 10 minutes, alors que les tests de dépistage conventionnels impliquent une attente de 2 semaines entre la réalisation du test et la réception des résultats. Ce délai peut causer beaucoup d’anxiété et, dans plusieurs cas, une barrière à la décision de se faire tester. Comme le dépistage rapide élimine la période d’attente, il peut encourager les gens qui, autrement, ne se feraient pas tester. À deux mains utilise le test d’anticorps INSTI™ HIV-1/HIV-2* qui fournit la même exactitude dans ses résultats que le test de dépistage du VIH standard (99.96%).

C’est la deuxième fois qu’une clinique de dépistage rapide du VIH est offerte chez A deux mains. Il s’agit d’un nouveau projet qui a été développé avec le soutien de la Fondation Farha. La première clinique a été offerte la journée mondiale de lutte contre le SIDA et a été un succès. Vingt-sept jeunes ont été testés ce soir-là, 88% ont dit qu’ils reviendraient.

Conformément à la mission de À deux mains, cette clinique vise à fournir des services qui encouragent la jeunesse à faire des choix de mode de vie sains. En offrant cette soirée de dépistage du VIH confidentielle, gratuite et rapide, nous visons à faciliter l’accès des jeunes de Montréal au dépistage du VIH avec une approche holistique et de réduction des risques. Des interventions seront disponibles sur place.

Voici l’événement Facebook, si cela vous intéresse !

Smaller condoms for 12-year-olds in Switzerland


A Switzerland company manufactures condoms for 12-year-old boys, and plans to distribute them outside of Switzerland. While it’s only a minority of 12-year-olds that are sexually active (and the sex is typically very occasional), I believe safer sex supplies should still be available for them, and a condom that fits your penis size is also great if you want to practice with it, which we always encourage people to do in workshops.

A standard condom has a diameter of 52mm in comparison with the Hotshot’s 45mm. Both are the same length – 190mm.

According to a study of 13 to 20-year-olds, a quarter said that a standard condom was too large.

Hilary Pannack, of teenage pregnancy charity Straight Talking Peer Education, said: ‘We know young people are having sex and if this is what it takes to protect them, we need to go along with it.’

Condoms in ‘extra small’ for boys age 12 set for Britain’s shelves soon @ Mail Online