December 1st, 2022
NDP Statement on World AIDS Day
The NDP’s critic and deputy critic for 2SLGBTQIA+ Rights Randall Garrison and Blake Desjarlais, made the following statement:
“Today, on World AIDS Day, it’s important to remember the people who have lost their lives and all of those who have suffered with AIDS/HIV. We must keep calling for continued progress to eliminate the spread of HIV/AIDS, and to remove the stigma and isolation that those living with these diseases face.
In order to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS, we need programs that ensure health services are widely available across the country. No one should have to worry about the financial barriers to getting treatment. Testing and treatment must be readily available in rural, northern and Indigenous communities.
Instead of ensuring universal care and support, the Liberals failure to provide adequate funding is preventing Canada from eliminating AIDS/HIV. Last year, Canada even dropped from the UNAIDS list of countries that are on track to eliminate HIV/AIDS by 2030. First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities have higher rates of HIV/AIDS and continue to lack access to testing, education, and the culturally appropriate healthcare that is needed. This government could also introduce better safe supply programs for those with substance use dependencies who are more vulnerable to AIDS/HIV.
Stigma and discrimination remain major barriers that prevent people from being tested, receiving treatment and feeling fully accepted in their communities. It is crucial that we provide support and compassion to every single person living with AIDS/HIV.
Today, we reflect on how far we have come, and we recommit to supporting the those living with HIV/AIDs, advocates and healthcare professionals working tirelessly to end AIDS/HIV.”