December 1, 2017
(Ottawa, ON) – Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Perry Bellegarde encourages everyone on World AIDS Day to break the cycle of stigma and discrimination and work towards providing a safe, supportive, and healthy environment for our people living with HIV/AIDS.
“World Aids Day kicks off Aboriginal AIDS Awareness Week, a time for First Nations and all people to join together in a unified response to the HIV and AIDS epidemic,” National Chief Bellegarde said. “It’s a time to focus on public health education with the goal of significantly reducing new infections, learning about supports available to people at risk, increasing access to prevention methods, and supporting those living with HIV and Hepatitis C. I acknowledge the resilience of those living with blood borne infections and the people working to support them. Today is a day I urge everyone to get tested.”
Every year, First Nations are overrepresented in the newly diagnosed cases of HIV and Hepatitis C. These health conditions can affect people of all age groups and genders.
World AIDS Day takes place on December 1 each year. It’s an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, to show support for people living with HIV, and to commemorate those who have passed on from an AIDS-related illness. This year’s theme is Right to Health which is a major part of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
The AFN is the national organization representing First Nations citizens in Canada. Follow AFN on Twitter @AFN_Updates.
For more information, please contact:
Press Secretary – National Chief’s Office
Bilingual Communications Officer