In Memoriam

Remembering and Celebrating Marisol Desbiens

May 2016

It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that we acknowledge the passing of Marisol Desbiens.

Marisol was a dedicated leader, passionate advocate, role model, and friend. She is deeply missed.

Marisol was a Peer Research Associate (PRA) for CHIWOS. She played an integral role in providing peer support for her fellow PRAs, representing Ontario on the National Management Team, and evaluating the processes of CHIWOS to ensure the work of the team was consistently aligned with our values. Marisol was loved, and is loved, by her colleagues. She was a passionate team player and always lent a hand or listening ear to her colleagues and friends.

Marisol worked tirelessly in the HIV community for over 8 years. In addition to CHIWOS, she was actively involved in other Ontario-based organizations, including PWA, OAN, CAAT, OHTN, FIFE HOUSE, McMaster University, and the Speaker’s Bureau and Ontario HIV and Substance Use Training Program.

Marisol was devoted to understanding and breaking down HIV stigma. She was passionate about working with people from diverse communities who live with HIV, and she was committed to doing what she could to support others. Marisol valued all people and had a deep love for her family.

Her beautiful smile and warm presence will never be forgotten. Marisol’s legacy in the HIV community will always be with us.

Marisol Desbiens is remembered by her fellow Peer Research Associates for and as:




Her strength and warm smile

Always having an ear to listen

Incredible dedicated mother

Shining like a star

Calm and courageous role model


Family oriented


Loving her girls

Beauty, grace and honour