Speak up to end AIDS in Canada and around the world
On July 22nd, approximately 20,000 people from 200 countries will converge on Washington D.C. for the XIX International AIDS Conference. This is the premier event to take stock of the fight against the epidemic and to renew our commitment to a bold global response.
Despite progress in recent years, over 33 million people are living with HIV, the vast majority of them in poverty. Less than half the people who are eligible to receive life-saving anti-retroviral medications currently get them. Stigma and discrimination continue to plague the most vulnerable groups.
We have the knowledge and tools to end the AIDS epidemic. But we lack the political commitment to deliver proven strategies at a scale that will turn the tide.
This is unacceptable. Canada’s leaders must do more.
As Michele Sidibé, head of the United Nations body formed to lead the global response to HIV and AIDS, said: "Inaction will be very costly. If we don’t pay now, we will pay forever."
Canada must do more at home too.
In Canada, rates of HIV infection are disproportionately high in Aboriginal communities. Although they represent only 3.8% of the Canadian population, they account for 8% of all HIV infections, and infection rates are more than three times higher than non-Aboriginal Canadians.
We can save lives, avert infections and reduce the global price-tag of the epidemic with an immediate, strategic increase in investments now.
A strategic response to HIV will make the difference between life and death.
Organizers of the AIDS 2012 conference have drafted a Washington D.C. Declaration that includes a bold 9-point agenda for action.
Please join Make Poverty History in sending a message to Minister of Health Leona Aglukkaq. Let her know you want Canada to sign on to the Declaration and end the AIDS epidemic, once and for all.