Victoria AIDS Resource & Community Service Society (VARCS), began its life in November 1991 as Victoria AIDS Respite Care Society.
In the early 1990s, many people with HIV/AIDS were being treated in hospital and by hospice earlier than necessary. Frequently, their family members and partners were burning out from providing on going care. The founder of VARCS remember that in his family, when someone was ill, other family members would help out and lend support.
TJ Furlani, President/Chair
Anna Tobias, Vice President
Gayle Ployer, Treasurer
Don McIver, Director
VARCS began with the simple idea that the community could act as an extended family for people living with HIV/AIDS and their caregivers. Initially the program was based on providing respite homes to alleviate the strain on primary caregivers and delay entry in to hospitals and hospice. Since that time, much has changed with HIV/AIDS. The advent of protease inhibitors and new medications has allowed many people to live longer and healthier lives. The need for respite in the community has decreased significantly.
Now, VARCS works to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS and other blood borne illnesses. VARCS has adapted to meet the needs of a population facing complex health and social situations. This has been done with a firm belief that individuals will make the best health care decisions for themselves when provided with the right support and adequate information.
VARCS now provides a range of support services to individuals who use drugs or may be at risk of contracting blood-borne illnesses. There is no referral necessary and VARCS staff are compassionate and non-judgmental.
To become a member, fill in the membership form on the Join Us page. There is no cost for membership.