HIV/AIDS remains a persistent health issue in Canada and around the world. In Canada, an estimated 65,000 people are living with HIV and AIDS and there are approximately 2,500 new HIV infections every year. Canada has made great progress in addressing HIV/AIDS in the last three decades; however, there is still work to do to reach the goal of eliminating AIDS as a global public health threat by 2030.
Today, on behalf of the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health, Yvonne Jones, Member of Parliament for Labrador and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs, announced an investment of $375,176 over three years from the HIV and Hepatitis C Community Action Fund for the Labrador Friendship Centre. The funding will support the Sexual Health Information Exchange Labrador District project to implement culturally appropriate community-based interventions to reduce sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections (STBBI). For example, an art-based approach will be used as an effective method of promoting the prevention of STBBI among indigenous youth. These approaches will complement the development of multi-lingual educational materials that will be disseminated to at-risk populations in the community.
This funding is part of the $132 million the Public Health Agency of Canada is investing through the Community Action Fund over five years to support the work of organizations in addressing HIV and other STBBI.
“Our government is committed to eliminating HIV and AIDS as global public health threats. The important research and community-based projects like the ones put in place by the Labrador Friendship Centre reflect our renewed focus on supporting evidence-based prevention, reducing stigma and discrimination, and increasing access to testing and treatment for HIV and other sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections.”
The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Health
“Our Government is proud to support the important work being done by the Labrador Friendship Centre. We will continue to collaborate with our partners to support evidence-based prevention, reduce stigma and discrimination, and increase access to testing and treatment for HIV and other sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections.”
Member of Parliament for Labrador and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs
- The Community Action Fund is focused on supporting community-based initiatives that have the potential to make the greatest impact in slowing the spread of HIV and hepatitis C.
- The HIV and Hepatitis C Community Action Fund is providing funding for 84 projects involving 122 organizations across Canada for up to five years. This represents an investment of $26.4 million annually. Through targeted prevention interventions focused on priority populations in Canada, these projects will help to prevent HIV, hepatitis C and other sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections.
- Based on available data in Canada, an estimated 80% of HIV-infected people have been diagnosed, 76% of those diagnosed are on treatment, and 89% of those on treatment have suppressed viral loads.
- Indigenous communities, the LGBTQ community, and intravenous drug users are some of the groups most at-risk of HIV, and the CAF programs aim to address the needs of these groups.
- With increased access to antiretroviral treatment, people living with HIV today can live fuller and healthier lives.
Author: Public Health Agency of Canada