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HARPER IS CREATING AN AIDS CRISIS

HIV IN CANADA GOES UP, PROMISED AIDS FUNDING NOT DELIVERED

November 30, 2010 - A new online video exposing the Harper governments record on HIV/AIDS is being launched today by AIDS ACTION NOW!, a Toronto group advocating for the rights of people living with HIV/AIDS since the 1980s.

"Over three years, the number of people living with HIV in Canada has gone up by 14%," says Alex McClelland of AIDS ACTION NOW! "At the same time, promised federal funding for frontline HIV/AIDS prevention and support services has not been delivered under Harper."

"Today's court decision is a victory for the rights of sex workers," said Sandra Ka Hon Chu, senior policy analyst with the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network. "This decision is essential not only to realizing the human dignity of sex workers, but also to enabling sex workers to work free from violence and other health and safety risks, including HIV infection."

In 2008, the Harper government defaulted on promised funding for community-based AIDS service organizations by failing to deliver $11.3 million that had been committed by an all-party committee of Parliament for programs that support people living with HIV/AIDS and prevent the spread of HIV through community education.

Meanwhile, HIV/AIDS has reached epidemic levels in some communities:

. In Vancouver's downtown eastside, the prevalence of Hepatitis C is 70%. HIV prevalence is 30% -- a rate higher than in Botswana.

. In Toronto, 23% of gay and bisexual men are HIV-positive.

. Aboriginal people make up 3.8% of the overall population, but 12.5% of new HIV infections.

. In Canadian prisons, Hepatitis C rates are 45 times greater than the general population, and HIV rates are 22 times greater.

Despite these alarming facts, the Harper government continues to oppose harm reduction programs that are proven to reduce HIV and Hepatitis C infections.

Instead, funding has been increased for military and security costs like the war in Afghanistan and the G8/G20 summits, which cost Canadian taxpayers 632 times the annual national AIDS plan.

"People across Canada are being denied the right to health and Harper doesn't care," says ZoŽ Dodd of AIDS ACTION NOW! "Getting rid of AIDS in Canada means getting rid of Harper."

Video link: http://www.vimeo.com/17318603

-30-

For more information about the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network visit our website at http://www.aidslaw.ca

About the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network

Since 1992, the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network ( www.aidslaw.ca ) has been promoting the human rights of people living with and vulnerable to HIV/AIDS, in Canada and internationally, through research, legal and policy analysis, education, and community mobilization.  The Legal Network is Canada 's leading advocacy organization working on the legal and human rights issues raised by HIV/AIDS.

 


Reproduced with permission - "Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network"

Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network
www.aidslaw.ca


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