This Toronto Restaurant Is Staffed Entirely By People With HIV

Only half of Canadians would knowingly eat food prepared by someone who is HIV positive.

According to a recent Smash Stigma study conducted by Casey House, only half of Canadians would “knowingly share food with or eat food prepared by someone who is HIV positive.”

Casey House, a Toroto-based service center and hospital for people living with HIV/AIDS, has decided to do something about changing people’s minds by launching a new campaign called Break Bread Smash Stigma.

Casey House is opening a pop-up restaurant called June’s HIV+ Eatery. It will be open from November 7-8, and everything will be handled and made by HIV-positive people.

Matt Basile, a chef from Toronto, and 14 HIV-positive cooks were hired to train the restaurant’s staff and make the food.

The establishment is named after Casey House’s founder, June Callwood, and if you wanted to make a reservation, you are unfortunately out of luck because the two-day event is already sold out.

“The stigma around HIV and AIDS is still very real, isolating many patients across the city, the country and the globe,” said Kenneth Poon, a Casey House client.

“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. Through the compassionate 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.”

Hopefully the success of June’s HIV+ Eatery will help change minds about people living with HIV, and prompt more events for the Break Bread Smash Stigma campaign.

For more information head on over to the Casey House website.

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