Sexfluent is a youth-driven initiative brought to you by CANFAR (Canadian Foundation For Aids Research). They are dedicated to ending Canada’s HIV epidemic but they know that HIV prevention is so much more than just giving out information about HIV transmission and prevention. It’s about creating a culture of openness, acceptance and empowerment for youth to feel confident in their identity, sexuality and decision-making capabilities.
Sexfluent wants to transform the conversation around sexual health to be free of judgment and shame so that you can embark on your own journey of self-acceptance and exploring pleasure.
For this week’s feature, we spoke with Haley Robinson, a Sexfluent squad member, to find out more about them.
Describe your charity/non-profit in a few sentences.
Sexfluent is a national, first-of-its-kind, youth-driven resource created by CANFAR, the Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research. Through the Sexfluent website and Instagram, we connect with you by openly addressing topics, such as mental health, HIV, STIs, testing, sexual pleasure, gender identity and sexuality, and substance use.
What problem does it aim to solve?
We’re dedicated to ending Canada’s HIV epidemic but we know that HIV prevention is so much more than just giving out information about HIV transmission and prevention. It’s about creating a culture of openness, acceptance and empowerment for youth to feel confident in their identity, sexuality and decision-making capabilities. We want to break the stigmas and transform the conversations around sexual and mental health
When did you start/join it?
I joined the squad in March of this year.
What made you want to get involved?
Because it was something that I really related to. Being a sexually active, and anxious teen I did not have the proper tools or education around sex and mental health. I think this is so important for our youth to have this support and information.
What was the situation like when you started?
Sexfluent is still fairly new, fully launching this spring but when I was young, I didn’t have access to safe resources as a two-spirit person. I didn’t really know where to go outside of school. Now, youth have Sexfluent to help answer any questions they might be too shy to ask in their family or at school.
How has it changed since?
As mentioned, because it is a new resource, it is still early to track change, but we are seeing positive growing engagement through our website and Instagram.
What more needs to be done?
A lot. We need to continue to break down the stigma around HIV, testing, STIs, mental health, substance use and so much more. But we can start by bringing up more conversations and being open. The first step is talking.
How can our readers help?
Check out our website and follow us on Instagram and help us get the word out. If you know someone you feel would be supported by Sexfluent, please share with them. We are working to create a safe, inclusive space for all youth.
Where can we follow you?
PAY IT FORWARD: What is an awesome local charity that you love?
A7G in Ottawa! They are a youth group for Indigenous folks to connect and learn about their cultures.