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Toronto Pop-Up Spa Staffs Only HIV-Positive Individuals

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To mark World AIDS Day and fight against prejudice, a Toronto hospital launched a pop-up spa that offered free massages and facials. Casey House is a hospital that provides care for patients with HIV, and their pop-up spa, Healing House, similarly was fully staffed by 18 people who were diagnosed HIV-positive. 

Healing House had one major goal of setting out to challenge people to push past their perceptions and prejudice about HIV-positive individuals by receiving a service in the 7,000-square-foot pop-up spa. Since the pop-up spa's staff were not trained therapists, a local beauty brand, Provence Apothecary, came in and trained the group on how to provide mini facials and neck, head and hand massages. 

In correlation with their overall message of healing against prejudice, the spa walls were also decorated with messages of acceptance and encouragment. 

"We are pushing the boundaries to create discussion, and this topic makes people uncomfortable," explained Joanne Simons, the CEO of Casey House, in an interview with NBC News. "We want people to get the facts, feel the emotion and challenge their thinking."