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Toronto's HIV-Positive Restaurateurs Smash Stigmas with Every Bite

Toronto's HIV-Positive Restaurateurs Smash Stigmas with Every Bite

"Kiss the HIV+ Cook."

“Kiss the HIV+ Cook” and “I got HIV from pasta. Said no one ever,” read the aprons of the workers at June’s HIV+ Eatery. The restaurant, located in Toronto, hopes to smash the stigmas surrounding the misunderstood virus.

The restaurant was conceived last month in response to a survey in Canada, where only half of the survey’s participants claimed they would consume food that had been prepared by someone with HIV.


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"For many people living with HIV, it’s the stigma that hurts the most,” the restaurant released in a statement. “June’s HIV+ Eatery is an opportunity to fight stigma with every bite. To come together in a show of love, support and acceptance, and to dispel the myths about HIV that condemn so many to suffer in silence."

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The survey was conducted by Casey House, a nonprofit that works to provide adequate health care for people with HIV/AIDS, who were also behind the restaurant’s materialization.

Soon thereafter, Casey House and June’s started serving meals prepared by HIV-Positive cooks to debunk transmission rumors that food preparation can spread the virus, hence the aforementioned, tongue in cheek uniforms.


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However, June’s was not temporary, but rather acted as a pop-up shop that served 200 customers this past Tuesday and Wednesday. Customers paid $125 for a four-course dinner, according to People.

But Joanne Simons, the head of Casey House, hopes to open up more HIV+ eateries worldwide. “We’d love to be able to do it in places like New York and San Francisco and London.”

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