Message from the Honourable Dr. Jane Philpott, Minister of Health – Aboriginal AIDS Awareness Week 2015
As Minister of Health, I am pleased to mark the 27th anniversary of World AIDS Day and the start of Aboriginal AIDS Awareness Week in Canada. I would like to thank the Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network, the Interagency Coalition on AIDS and Development, the Native Youth Sexual Health Network, Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada, and regional Indigenous organizations, for all their efforts in raising public awareness, preventing the spread of HIV, reducing stigma and discrimination, and supporting Indigenous people living with, affected by, or at risk of HIV.
I have worked passionately to address the AIDS epidemic at the international level for many years, and I intend to build on this as we strive together to achieve zero AIDS-related deaths in Canada.
Reducing HIV/AIDS burden among Indigenous peoples in Canada is a key priority for the Government of Canada’s Federal Initiative to Address HIV/AIDS in Canada. Our current efforts focus on culturally appropriate HIV and other Sexually Transmitted Blood Bourne infections, prevention, education and awareness, research and community capacity building. In addition, we work with numerous partners at the national and community level to address barriers to HIV prevention, diagnosis, treatment and support. Health services only offer part of the solution – we must also work together to improve the quality of life of Indigenous peoples in Canada.
With the commitment shown by so many of you to address this preventable yet devastating health issue, I join you in your fight and believe we can make a positive difference in the lives of Indigenous peoples living with and affected by HIV/AIDS.
The Honourable Dr. Jane Philpott
Minister of Health