Who We Are
Our center strives to address the underlying issues affecting the health and welfare of our communities by countering stigma and creating environments where all are welcome. PEERS Alliance serves people of all genders and sexual orientations in the promotion of sexual health well-being. We support and promote harm reduction strategies to people who use drugs so they can work to reduce their risk of negative health outcomes. We are here to work with you.
PEERS Alliance engages, supports, and educates all Islanders on issues related to sexual health and harm reduction in the context of drug use.
We work to contribute to the prevention of HIV, Hepatitis C, and all sexually transmitted and blood borne infections (STBBIs) in a non-judgmental environment free from stigma.
PEERS Alliance strives to increase positive health outcomes by engaging and supporting those living with, and most impacted by, HIV and Hepatitis C while creating opportunities for partnerships, community engagement, and systems change.
PREVENT. EDUCATE. EMPOWER. RESPECT. SUPPORT
Sexual Health Wellbeing and Drug Use Harm Reduction for All Islanders
Cybelle Rieber - Executive Director:
Cybelle Rieber joined PEERS Alliance (formally AIDS PEI) in November of 2015. Raised on PEI, Cybelle holds a bachelor’s degree from Mount Allison University and a Master’s Degree in Lifelong Learning from Mount St. Vincent University. She has over 20 years’ experience in the field of sexual health, and with populations engaged in drug use, from both a community based perspective and a public institution perspective. Working across sectors within collaboration frameworks, Cybelle has engaged in program development, management and evaluation, community engagement and consultation facilitation, and policy development and review. Previous to her employment with PEERS Alliance, Cybelle was working with the NS Heath Authority developing and coordinating the Pride Health Program. When not at work you can find her in the woods in all seasons or in her garden revelling in the resiliency of the weeds
Angele DesRoches - Program Coordinator:
Angele DesRoches joined the PEERS Alliance team as program coordinator in 2015 when the organization was still known as AIDS PEI. Angele completed her B.A. (Hons.) degree at UPEI where she became interested in the relationship between social science and social justice. Lured away by the promise of critical action-oriented academics, Angele earned her Master’s Degree in Community Psychology at Wilfrid Laurier University where she studied health promotion and social change theory, community engagement, program development, and approaches to program evaluation. While completing her degree, Angele worked with the Equity, Sexual Health, and HIV research group as well as members of the Trans PULSE research team. Angele is thrilled to have the opportunity to work on issues related to sexual health and harm reduction in her home province. When Angele isn’t working you are likely to find her somewhere outside.
PEERS Alliance began as AIDS PEI in 1991 in response the AIDS crisis that was impacting PEI, along with the rest of Canada and the world. At that time, a group of caring and concerned citizens came together to form an organization to ensure that individuals, families, and communities had a place to find support as they were grappling with HIV/AIDS and the stigma that was, and still is, attached to HIV.
Over the next 26 years, AIDS PEI provided support and direct services to those living with and impacted by HIV including prevention programing, peer programming, and harm reduction programing and education.
In 2013, AIDS PEI began to diversify its programming to include HEP C, which was emerging as a major health issue for Islanders, along with all sexually transmitted infections (STBBIs). With HIV support and STBBI prevention as the backbone, in 2016 the organization recognised the need to re-vision its identity to better meet community needs in Prince Edward Island. We continue to work with and for those impacted by, and at risk for, HIV and Hep C infection, but the organization provides supports and resources around sexual health and harm reduction to all Island residents. After community and stakeholder engagement activities, and with generous help from FRESH MEDIA, the membership of AIDS PEI ratified the new name PEERS Alliance in May of 2017 and this name became official in October of 2017.
Funding for the organizations has come from the Public Health Agency of Canada, various project specific grants, organizational fundraising initiatives, and private donations. As PEERS Alliance moves forward, we continue to place the lives of those living with HIV and Hep C at the forefront of the organizations, ensuring their voices are an integral part of moving forward.