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This restaurant is fighting stigma with food cooked by HIV+ chefs

Katharine Swindells November 6, 2017
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A Canadian organisation is dispelling myths about HIV in the best way.

Casey House, a hospital and support service for people with HIV/AIDS in Toronto, is opening a pop-up restaurant, where the organisation, management, and most importantly the food preparation, is all done by staff who are HIV-positive.

Toronto chef Matt Basile is teaming up with 14 cooks, helping train them and develop the menu before the event.

Related: Stunning AIDS crisis artworks installed at London Underground stations

The restaurant is part of Casey’s Break Bread Smash Stigma campaign.

This restaurant is fighting stigma with food cooked by HIV+ chefs
from @caseyhouseTO on Twitter

Casey House say that only half of Canadians would knowingly share food with, or eat food prepared by, someone who is HIV+.

However, that the virus can be spread through contamination of food or surfaces is a myth, and one that is extremely damaging to those living with HIV or AIDS.

Related: Prince Harry to launch National HIV Testing Week

Casey House have also been busting the myth on their Twitter page.

“What’s one way you CAN get HIV?” they ask. “Sharing towels, sharing drinks or sharing cutlery?”

Answer: None of the above.

This restaurant is fighting stigma with food cooked by HIV+ chefs
from @caseyhouseTO on Twitter

The restaurant, which is called June’s HIV+ Eatery, after Casey House-founder June Callwood, is running for two days in November, and has already sold out.

However, they are still welcoming donations to help support their work of providing “compassionate, non-judgmental care for people living with HIV/AIDS.”

Related: New support group launched to eradicate HIV stigma in the UK

“I stand proud to be part of this powerful group of 14 HIV-positive chefs to boldly break barriers and end the isolation that I have felt and others continue to feel,” Kenneth Poon, Casey House client, told Gay Star News.

‘Through the care that I received at Casey House, I made it through those darkest days and I am here today, helping others who are living with HIV/AIDS.’

Related topics: AIDS, Americas, Canada, Canada, HIV, HIV-positive, HIV/AIDS, transmission

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