AIDS PEI has rebranded itself to PEERS Alliance, getting a new name to help it better meet the need of Islanders who rely on it, says executive director Cybelle Rieber. 

The new name is an acronym for "prevent, educate, empower, respect and support."

The organization has also lauched a new website for the rebranding.

"When I began with the organization two years ago and I began to engage with our members and our clients and our stakeholders, what became very very clear to us was a lot of people were not accessing the organization because of the stigma associated with the word AIDS." 

Rieber said the term is outdated because people living with HIV are living with that, not with AIDS. 

She said the decision was made to change the name to make the organization more accessible.

"Our programming is opening up and becoming more diversified," she added.

Funding secured 

Rieber said the organization has secured five years of funding with Health Canada to offer programming in four areas to help those in need. 

"One of the biggest gaps right now is services for those engaged in drug use but not engaged in recovery," she said. 

Rieber said another area is around sexual health, including dealing with issues of consent and prevention of sexually transmitted diseases. 

The executive director said the women's wellness clinic will also continue and be enhanced. 

"We're continuing to work with what we have," said Rieber, adding they want to do more to help men as well. 

Rieber said she is looking forward to moving forward with the new rebranding so more people can access the organization's services. 

With files from Island Morning