pronouns: she, her, hers
In 2015, Sarah moved to unceded Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh territory to join the YouthCO team. Sarah is enthusiastic about quality time, bike rides, rereading favourite books, and making and sharing great food. Sarah is asexual (as in queer), and has always been curious about why so many of us are reluctant to talk openly about sex. Sarah is a white settler, and has been part of HIV and Hep C education, policy making, research, and programming in Iqaluit, Guelph, and now Vancouver.
Sarah Chown's activity stream
Sarah Chown published City of Burnaby: Act Now to Address Police Violence in Our Voices 2021-02-19 13:47:55 -0800
Sarah Chown published Our 2016 Annual Report in Our Voices 2021-02-18 14:14:28 -0800
Sarah Chown published Financial Supports in Resources 2020-12-03 16:23:24 -0800
YouthCO provides financial support directly to youth living with HIV and/or Hep C in BC to help with costs that come up in every day life.
Youth can apply anytime. YouthCO reviews applications four times per year. We may be able to review urgent applications more quickly - please include this information in your application if needed.
Let us know if we can help with this application or answer any questions you may have about this program.
Who can access YouthCO’s financial support program?
YouthCO provides financial support to people who are:
- Youth, up to, and including, 29 years old
- Based in what is now called British Columbia
- Currently living with HIV and/or Hepatitis C
- Experiencing financial barriers or challenges
You do not need to be a Canadian citizen to apply for this funding.
What financial supports does YouthCO offer?
Youth may apply for financial support to help with costs that support our wellbeing, basic necessities, or educational and career development. Here are some of the things we can help with:
- educational costs (high school, vocational courses, professional development, post-secondary, including textbooks and other material fees)
- cultural, wellness, and social activities
- health expenses that are not covered by private or public insurance plans
- required fees for identification or government processes
- rent and/or moving costs
- monthly bills
- materials and supplies, including clothing
Youth are encouraged to apply for financial support for anything on this list or other needs that support wellbeing.
How much money can I receive?
Typically, YouthCO can provide up to $1,000 per application. Please let us know what your needs are in your application.
How will YouthCO decide about my application?
YouthCO will do our best to provide financial support to everyone who applies. Unfortunately, we may not have the financial capacity to approve all applications for financial support right away.
YouthCO prioritizes applications from:
- Indigenous and Black youth
- youth who have not previously received financial supports from YouthCO
- youth seeking financial supports for costs directly related to HIV and/or Hep C treatment and care
Who will see the information I provide in my application?
YouthCO reduces the number of people who see the application as much as possible. In most cases, the full application will only be seen by one of YouthCO’s managers and YouthCO’s Executive Director. Only people who have agreed to keep the information confidential will see the full application.
In some cases, other staff members or volunteers who have agreed to keep the information confidential will look at the application form with our name removed. In this way, these staff members and volunteers will be able to make decisions about what applications to approve without knowing the name of the person who applies.
Board members have responsibility for approving YouthCO's expenses, including payments for the finanical support program. These Board volunteers will only see the the first page of the application.
How can I apply?
- Fill out the application form (below). We can get help to fill out this form by calling YouthCO, or asking someone who we trust. The application can be written by hand, typed out, or filled out by calling YouthCO. Youth can work with a support person to fill out this application.
- Confirm your HIV and/or Hep C status, if you haven't accessed Positive Programs at YouthCO before.
Give your application to the YouthCO team by mail or email:
- Mail: PO BOX 3450 Vancouver Main, Vancouver BC V6B 3Y4
- Email: [email protected]
What happens after I apply?
- When we receive your application, we will confirm it is complete, and that you are eligible, and let you know we have received it. If it isn’t complete, we will get in touch to help you complete it. If you are not eligible, we will contact you to let you know.
- YouthCO reviews applications as they are received.
- We will contact you as soon as possible to let you know if your application is approved or not.
- If your application is approved, we will confirm your information, let you know about any tax documentation we are required to provide, and with your permission, confirm your payment information and process your payment as soon as possible. We will store your application confidentially with our financial records.
- If your application is not approved, we will let you know why your application was not approved. If your application is still eligible and relevant, we will ask if you would like us to consider it in the future. If you are not eligible, or decide not to have your application considered in the future, we will delete any electronic copies of your application, and shred any paper copies.
We will do our best to support to everyone who applies, however, we may not have the financial capacity to approve all applications for financial support. Either way, we will be in touch once we receive your application.
If you need help accessing this form, or would like help filling out this form, give YouthCO a call at
- Word format (we are able to type into this version)
- PDF format (this version is best for printing out)
Art by A. Hudnall.
Sarah Chown published Financial Support for Youth Living with HIV and/or Hep C in Resources 2020-11-17 22:02:20 -0800
Financial Support for Youth Living with HIV and/or Hep C
Sarah Chown published Matriarch Rising in Our Voices 2020-10-09 12:01:09 -0700
Sarah Chown published Dealing with Cissexism at YouthCO in Our Voices 2021-02-19 13:56:20 -0800
Sarah Chown published Hep C & We in Resources 2020-07-31 12:03:33 -0700
Hep C & We
Sarah Chown published Undetectable = Untransmittable in Resources 2020-07-26 12:35:59 -0700
Sarah Chown published Inclusive & Destigmatizing Language in Our Voices 2020-07-11 15:55:24 -0700
Inclusive & Destigmatizing Language
Inclusive language is one of the ways we approach providing relatable and relevant information to our peers. Using inclusive language is a way we put our values – including sex-positivity, anti-oppression, and inclusiveness – into action. Being excluded from the information that is provided to us impacts our health, our ability to make informed choices, and the ways we access information and support.
These guidelines are far from exhaustive: there are many, many words used within HIV, Hep C, sexual health, and harm reduction that reflect stigma, fear, and misinformation. We welcome feedback, suggestions, and additions anytime! YouthCO is also able to facilitate workshops to provide more information as to the ways this language can be stigmatizing, and relevant alternatives for specific settings!
Teachings from the Native Youth Sexual Health Network have influenced this resource! This amazing organization invites us to consider ways to use supportive language as an alternative to stigmatizing language.
Avoid using language that is stigmatizing! Instead, try neutral or supportive alternatives! See our examples.
Do useDon't use
Infect or spread
ex. Youth can be infected through sexDo use
ex. HIV can be passed through unprotected vaginal, anal, or frontal sexDon't use
Infected with HIV, Hep C, an STI
Suffers from HIV, Hep C, an STIDo use
Living with HIV, Hep C, an STI, [other diagnosis]
Was diagnosed with an STI [or other condition]Don't use
“AIDS” or “HIV/AIDS” when referring to HIV
ex. It is important to get tested for AIDS
ex. Died from HIV/AIDSDo use
ex. It is important to get tested for HIV
ex. Died from AIDS-related complications; died from opportunisticinfectionsDon't use
“They,” “them” or “those people”
ex. When their immune system is weak
ex. If they are taking Hep C medicationsDo use
“We,” “our” or “those of us” – especially in peer contexts
ex. When our immune system is weak
ex. If we are taking Hep C medications; those of us who are taking HIV medicationsDon't use
ex. Protect against HIVDo use
ex. Prevent HIV from being passedDon't use
Sexually transmitted disease (STD)Do use
Sexually transmitted infection (STI) - infection is more accurate and less stigmatizingDon't use
“Healthy” when referring to people who are not living with HIV or Hep C
ex. People living with HIV and Hep C can have healthy childrenDo use
More specific language - people can be healthy whether or not we are living with HIV, Hep C, or other conditions
ex. People living with HIV and Hep C can have children who are HIV/HCV negativeDon't use
ex. Thanks guys for having YouthCO!Do use
Folks, friends, guests – words that are not gendered
ex. Folks, thanks so much for having YouthCO!Don't use
Chest feeding, nursingDon't use
ex. We are seeing fewer cases of HIV happen through mother-to-child transmission.Do use
HIV passed at birth or through nursing – this phrasing makes assumptions about the gender of birth parents, and places blame/responsibility for transmission on the birth parent.
ex. Some youth became HIV-positive at birth or through nursing.Don't use
Clean/dirty used to describe equipment or peopleDo use
To describe people – abstinent, not using/actively using To describe equipment (e.g. needles) – new, unused/usedDon't use
ex. Female condoms
ex. Pap smears are an important part of health care for womenDo use
Body parts or actions
ex. Insertive condoms
ex. Pap smears are an important part of health care for people with a cervixDon't use
Sex workDon't use
Junkies, addicts, alcoholics, when used to describe other peopleDo use
People who use drugs, people experiencing addiction, people with a substance use disorder (depending on what we’re talking about; note, most of us use drugs whether that be caffeine, nicotine, etc.)Don't use
Homosexual; transsexual; identity-based slursDo use
Terms people use to self-identify
ex. gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans, pansexual, etc.Don't use
ex. slut, promiscuous, crazy, dirty, badDo use
Speak neutrally about activities
ex. Having sex, using drugsDon't use
ex. Using drugs is a risk activity for Hep C
ex. Risk activities for HIV include...
ex. Youth are at-risk for Hep CDo use
More specific language - “risk” is produced by inequities and systems of oppression, is often used as a label to exclude or stigmatize people, and portrays people as a source of virus or bacteria
ex. Sharing needles can pass Hep C
ex. Activities that can pass HIV include...
ex. Youth may come into contact with Hep CDon't use
ex. Normal sex
ex. A normal CD4 cell count is...Do use
More specific language - “normal” can be othering and exclusive
ex. Penis in vagina sex; sex where a mouth is on a bum, vulva, strapless
ex. CD4 cell counts above 500 mean our immune system can fight off most infectionsDon't use
ex. This is a safe space.
ex. This is one way to have safe sex / safely injectDo use
Safer - “safe” is a subjective concept
ex. We work together to make this a safer space.
ex. Safer sex can look like conversations with partners, or letting friends know where we are.Don't use
Treatment as Prevention (TasP)Do use
More specific language such as treatment, ARVs, medication, undetectable viral load that centres people living with HIV rather than public health prevention narratives.Don't use
“Newcomer” to describe someone who has lived in Canada for a long timeDo use
More specific language - Afro-Canadian Positive Network taught us that the word newcomer, used to refer to someone who has been in Canada a long time, can be othering
Please share far and wide, with credit to YouthCO and the organizations who have shared their knowledge with us!
Other great language resources:
- Five Things Media Makers Can Do NOW to Stand Up to HIV Stigma, Positive Women's Network
- A Progressive’s Style Guide, SumOfUs.org and ActivistEditor.com
Want us to list your inclusive language resource, or have feedback about our resource? Send it to us at [email protected] and we'll get in touch!
YouthCO believes that all youth have the right to accessible and affirming information about our health. We also know each of us has a unique relationship to our bodies, sex, sexuality, substance use, and harm reduction. For many of us, the words other people use for our bodies and their functions are not the words we use for ourselves. Throughout our website, YouthCO uses words for bodies and sex that we know will not reflect the full diversity of our communities. We have tried to, where possible, be as expansive with our language as we know how to while being as specific as possible. As youth leading the HIV movement, we too are learning about the best words for our experiences and do not do this perfectly. We invite any feedback about the language used on our website, in our programs, and in our resources to help us move forward in the best ways for all youth in our communities!
Sarah Chown published YouTube 2020-07-11 15:44:14 -0700