OTTAWA: The Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network (CAAN) announces Indigenous leadership will gather on November 30, 2017 in Ottawa, ON for a Parliamentary Breakfast to launch Aboriginal AIDS Awareness Week 2017.
It will be followed December 1 - 6, 2017 by events across the country (Vancouver, Edmonton, Regina, Winnipeg, Iqaluit, Toronto, and more) to unite an Indigenous response to HIV and AIDS in a parallel theme to international World AIDS Day: Right to Health.
This series of events across Canada will connect Indigenous organizations, government partners, health care providers, and community leaders as they reflect on what has been achieved and what must still be achieved by testing to "know your status", eliminating stigma and discrimination, and ensuring equitable access.
To end the AIDS epidemic, global efforts are aligned around a 90-90-90 Strategy which sets three measures of progress. On World AIDS Day 2016, the Government of Canada reported Canada's advances on these measures: 80% of HIV-infected people in Canada know their status; 76% of those who know they have HIV are on treatment; and 89% on treatment have suppressed viral loads.
"Indigenous communities hold the knowledge needed to close HIV target gaps, as we continue to be over-represented 2.7 times higher than other Canadians," said Ken Clement, CEO of Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network. "Aboriginal AIDS Awareness Week is an opportunity for Indigenous Peoples, researchers, and policy makers to share wise and promising practices, learn from each other and build relationships across the country."
Right to Health is attune to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People. Barriers exist to Indigenous Peoples' Right to Health including stigma, discrimination, and systemic racism. Indigenous communities hold strengths of traditional knowledge, culture, language and connection to land which supports wellbeing and health equity.
The Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network and its launch day co-hosts, Canadian Global Health All-Parliamentary Caucus HIV TB & Malaria, Interagency Coalition on AIDS and Development (ICAD), and Pauktuutit Inuit Women's Association of Canada invite you to participate in Aboriginal AIDS Awareness Week as it brings awareness to the different aspects of HIV prevention and key populations such as Indigenous women and youth living with HIV and AIDS.
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