(OTTAWA) – Today marks the start of Canadian HIV/AIDS Awareness Week leading up to World AIDS Day on December 1st. This week, organizations throughout the country will focus their efforts to raise awareness in order to help stop the spread of the virus.
Following a meeting of global health ministers in London England, World AIDS Day was officially recognized in 1988. Its objectives were to support people living with HIV, highlight the impact of the pandemic and commemorate people who have died from the disease. December 1st also marks the start of Aboriginal AIDS Awareness Week in Canada.
The Green Party of Canada recognizes the tremendous medical advancements that have been achieved in global efforts to halt the spread of HIV and AIDS and reminds the Government that more resources need to be dedicated towards combating the disease.
“Clearly, more needs to be done in the fight against HIV/AIDS,” said Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada and Member of Parliament for Saanich-Gulf Islands. “We need to invest more into prevention services, while also ensuring that current victims are receiving comprehensive and effective treatments.”
In 2012, an estimated 2.3 million people globally became infected with HIV, among whom 260,000 were children. In Canada, Aboriginal Peoples and other vulnerable communities are more likely to contract the disease.
“The HIV/AIDS rate for Aboriginal peoples is more than three times higher than that of other Canadians,” added Bruce Hyer, Deputy Green Party leader and Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay- Superior North. “After decades of research, there is no excuse for a lack of awareness about the issue, or inadequate care for those living with HIV/AIDS. We must ensure that all Canadians have access to the treatment they need.”
The Green Party of Canada urges the Government of Canada to ensure that affected Canadians are receiving appropriate care. The Green Party also advocates for universal access to low cost medication.
For additional information or to arrange an interview, contact:
Director of Communications
Green Party of Canada
cell: (613) 614 4916
office: (613) 562 4916 (224)