By Allison Wall, Meridian Booster
With recent numbers showing Saskatchewan with the highest rate of HIV/AIDS in Canada, the NDP is calling on the Wall government to take action.
According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, the number of HIV cases has risen since 2003 to 20.8 per 100,000 people compared to the 9.3 per 100,000 national average. Of those affected by HIV/AIDS in Saskatchewan, 70 per cent are Aboriginal or Metis.
NDP health critic Judy Junor is calling for the Wall government to urgently address the HIV/AIDS pandemic.
By John Bonnar, Rabble.ca
December 1 was World AIDS Day, a time to fight HIV stereotyping and stigmatization together with helping to stop the spread of the disease. It was also Rob Ford’s first full day in office as the newly elected mayor of Toronto.
“It’s a sad day to welcome a mayor who hates people living with HIV,” said Alex McClelland of AIDS Action Now. “I’m one of those people Rob Ford doesn’t give a shit about.”
In 2006, Ford argued against funding a $1.5 million AIDS strategy. “If you are not doing needles and you are not gay, you wouldn’t get AIDS probably,” said Ford.
By: Shannon Lacroix, Prince Albert Daily Herald
Sex, drugs and rock 'n’ roll are sometimes seen as part of modern life, but people don’t think twice about how the first two have led to the increase in HIV/AIDS in the country.
Dec. 1 is World AIDS Day, and as part of the day, the Ministry of Health launched its four-year HIV plan. According to their report, as of 2008, 67,442 Canadians were estimated to have HIV, a seven per cent increase from 2007, and the numbers continue to rise in the province. Saskatchewan has the highest rate of infection in the whole country, more than double that of Ontario, Quebec or British Colombia. The Prince Albert Parkland Health Region had the third highest provincial increase in 2009.
Director-General, World Health Organization, Statement
On World AIDS Day 2010, the global community is focusing attention on protecting human rights of all people affected by HIV.
Health, HIV and human rights are inextricably linked. HIV responses need to ensure that human rights are protected and promoted. At the same time, the promotion and protection of human rights reduces HIV risk and vulnerability and makes HIV programmes more effective. Those populations most vulnerable and at risk of HIV are often the same populations prone to human rights violations. HIV policies and programmes in the health sector must promote human rights and empower individuals to exercise their rights.
By: Jack Layton, Federal NDP Leader
On this World AIDS Day, there are things to be thankful for. Thankful for continuing advances in modern treatments. Thankful that this diagnosis no longer means certain death. Thankful that many Canadians with this infection can expect to live long and productive lives. Thankful that the worldwide infection rate appears to be stabilizing.
But as we count these blessings, let’s not allow one moment of complacency about the tremendous challenges we still face.
There is still no cure for HIV/AIDS. A staggering 33 million people are infected worldwide—that’s one in 200 people on this planet. The vast majority live in developing nations. In too many cases, they lack basic care and modern anti-viral treatments.
If trends hold in Canada, some 3,000 new infections could be diagnosed this year—disproportionately among new immigrants, First Nations people, and lower-income Canadians. A growing percentage are young people. Yet our Conservative government is eroding support for proven prevention solutions like harm reduction.
Canadians have every right to expect positive national leadership from their government. This is about rights. This is about people’s right to live in good health. And a vital first step is to restore federal support for hard-working organizations involved in HIV/AIDS education, prevention and care in Canada.
Two additional commitments will make all the difference in world. Canada must start contributing our full fair share to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis. At the same time, Parliament has an opportunity to help people in developing countries access the live-saving medicines we now take for granted.
After six years of unconscionable delays, passing Bill C-393 will ensure that low-cost generic antiviral drugs will finally begin to flow. Let’s pass this bill—without eleventh-hour poison-pill amendments that stop life-saving pills from flowing.
It’s the right thing to do. Read more »
Canadian Union of Public Employees
Dear Sisters and Brothers:
Another year has passed and we continue to mark World AIDS Day. HIV and AIDS remain a worldwide epidemic. This is especially appalling as HIV and AIDS can be eradicated. According to the United Nations, there are 33.4 million people living with HIV and numbers are rising in almost every region. Globally, women account for about 50 percent of people infected with HIV. In 2008, around the world, 430,000 children were born with HIV, bringing to 2.1 million the total number of children under 15 living with HIV. For every two people starting treatment for HIV a further five become infected. AIDS related illnesses are still a leading cause of death globally.
By: DAVID EBY, B.C. CIVIL LIBERTIES ASSOCIATION, 24 Hour Vancouver
Today is World AIDS Day, and there’s much to celebrate. Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy (“HAART”) is dramatically extending lives of those who live with HIV. The public is increasingly educated about transmission and discrimination. Even the Pope is rethinking his church’s stand on condoms, and B.C.’s government is funding a radical and essential treatment program in partnership with the Centre for Excellence in HIV and AIDS.
But we still have so far to go.
By: Amy Minsky, Montreal Gazette
OTTAWA — The number of reported HIV cases in Canada is at the same level as when the epidemic was emerging in the early 1980s, but the lifestyle and profile of many of these new patients is evolving, the Public Health Agency of Canada indicated in a report released this week.
When HIV monitoring and reporting began in 1985, the virus was cutting a swath through the gay community, with men who had sex with men representing more than 80 per cent of all cases.
Although that same community remains a significant risk group, the profile of a "typical" HIV patient is shifting.
The newest report found that gay and bisexual men represented less than half — 41.8 per cent — of all cases in 2009. Read more »
By Dustin Walker, Daily News
Public education and better access to harm reduction supplies, such as clean needles, are key to reducing a potential spike in the number of central Vancouver Island residents who contract HIV, says AIDS Vancouver Island.
The local chapter of the organization hopes to raise further awareness about these types of issues during an open house today as part of World AIDS Day.
Central Vancouver Island's HIV rate was at 4.9 cases per 100,000 in 2008, well below the provincial rate of 7.9, according to B.C. Centre for Disease Control statistics. But the region has among the highest rates of Hepatitis C in the province at 87.6. The B.C. rate was just 55.8 in 2008.
An addiction support group in Quebec has announced a controversial plan to open two supervised injection sites for intravenous drug users, with or without government approval.
The community group Cactus Montreal made the announcement to offer clean needles on Wednesday, World AIDS Day, to draw attention to the problem of HIV transmission through intravenous drug use.
The Supreme Court of Canada is set to rule on the legality of a similar injection site in Vancouver next spring.
The group is preparing to open safe injection sites in Montreal and Quebec City next June, with or without the province's consent, said Louis Letellier de St-Just, founder of Cactus and president of the group's board.