World AIDS Day: Is Canada on the Wrong Track?
Is Canada on the wrong track in battling HIV/AIDS? 25 years into the Canadian epidemic the infection rate has stabilized but not decreased. The government is failing to support harm reduction strategies that are proven to best address the disease. World AIDS Day activities and presentations will discuss what it will take to get Canada back on track.
When: Saturday December 1st, 10 am to 9 pm
Where: Carnegie Center, 401 Main Street, Vancouver
What: info fair; free snacks, lunch and dinner; presentations, movies and more
Who: sponsored by AIDS Vancouver, BC Persons With AIDS Society, D.T.E.S. HIV/IDU Consumers Board, Carnegie Centre
Admission is free
Harm reduction is a method of addressing social problems, such as drug use and disease control, that is gaining credibility worldwide. Until recently, Vancouver was a leader in applying ground breaking harm reduction strategies such as Insite, a supervised injection site. However, the current political climate is ignoring the mass of evidence that proves harm reduction strategies reduce HIV infections and help people living with HIV access services. AIDS services organizations, the medical community, and organizations that work with drug users agree that back tracking on harm reduction strategies will increase HIV infections and waste millions of healthcare dollars.
AIDS in 2007Over 15,000 people in BC are living with HIV/AIDS
There are about 400 new infections in BC a year. The infection rate has remained stable in the last ten years.
25 to 30% of people infected with HIV are unaware of their infection
In Canada, men who have sex with men (MSM) remain the single largest exposure category. However, the proportion of infections amongst MSM has dropped from 63% prior to 1994 to 43% in 2006.
Women accounted for about 25% of all HIV diagnoses in Canada. Prior to 1992 they accounted for only 8.9% of HIV infections.
As a group, heterosexual men and women accounted for 31.3% of all positive HIV test reports in 2005. This exposure category has steadily increased from 7.5% of all infections in 1995.
19 % of infections are caused by injection drug use.
BC Persons With AIDS Society
The British Columbia Persons With AIDS Society (BCPWA Society), a non-profit, consumer-driven organization is in its 21nd year of operation, is dedicated to empowering persons living with HIV disease and AIDS through mutual support and collective action. As western Canada's largest AIDS organization, with a membership of more than 4,400 HIV+ individuals, the Society provides support and advocacy services, treatment information, and volunteer opportunities to its diverse membership.
Director of Communications
BC Persons With AIDS Society
"Reproduced with permission - British Columbia Persons With AIDS Society"
British Columbia Persons With AIDS Society