As Montreal gears up to host the biggest leaders in global health, it is our hope that Canada will go well beyond provision of international aid, and find a way to harness the abundant scientific talent in Canada. Doing so will not only amplify the financial contributions by Canadians, but also show our global solidarity.
When it comes to ensuring health and well-being around the globe, no one can be left behind. This ambitious goal is at stake as global leaders come together in Montreal this month to pledge commitments to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund) for the organization's 2017-2019 funding cycle.
The presence of gender inequality becomes apparent within the communities of CAP-AIDS Uganda's CBO partners upon observing gender disparities in domestic labour and unpaid work, access to capital, as well as land and housing rights. These women are breadwinners, caregivers and active agents of community development who are entrenched in the social welfare of family, friends and neighbours.
Recent studies indicate that people living with HIV have an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Although a number of pharmacological strategies under investigation should help minimize this risk, behavioral interventions, such as physical activity and exercise, also can lower the risk. However, as with anyone living with a chronic disease, questions will arise whether or not it is safe to exercise with HIV. The answer is a resounding YES.
High profile disclosures of HIV status, like Charlie Sheen's, remind us of just how far we've come in treating HIV in the past 30 years. HIV is now a chronic disease like diabetes, heart disease or emphysema. However, there are still questions -- such as can people with HIV really live normal, healthy lives?
HIV infection is decidedly no longer a death sentence, and no longer a major inhibitor of quality of life. HIV-positive people can live long and healthy lives. For those with access to care, some sex educators now talk about HIV infection as more of a nuisance to be managed than than a life-altering diagnosis.
"Where is Canada?" In Turkey and Jordan recently, this was the question we heard over and over, from Syrian refugees themselves, crisis intervention workers, medical professionals, human rights activists and others dedicated to helping Syrians.To friends and family, I referred to my time in the region as a tour of shame, as a Canadian. There was a clear perception among the people we spoke with that Canada preferred Christian asylum seekers, and this explained the delays and inaction. As the now-infamous photo of Alan Kurdi reminds us, there is an immediate need for Canada to show leadership in developing a concrete solution.
As the proliferation of online escort services -- gay and straight alike -- suggests, Americans engage in escort services in considerable numbers. Moralism aside, what's the actual harm? We reviewed the available scientific evidence on HIV, other health issues, violence and human rights among sex workers, including among male sex workers -- and gained invaluable insights into the power of decriminalization to reduce harm.
As a result of the stigma around HIV, many folks feel shame and judgment about how they got HIV and don't want others finding out. We believe that isolation is alleviated by networks of support, by the opportunity to create shared experiences with other people, by the opportunity to be true to who you are without fear.
Saskatchewan is among a number of regions in Canada, such as Manitoba and even our nation's capital, currently experiencing alarming spikes in the spread of HIV. B.C. has an impressive track record for slowing the spread of HIV/AIDs in the province. The B.C. Centre created a Treatment as Prevention strategy which provides widespread access to HIV testing, care, support and treatment. Keys to the strategy's success have been political commitment, programmatic focus, ongoing innovation coupled with monitoring and evaluation, appropriate resourcing and free services (including fully free antiretroviral therapy (ART)).
The full spectrum of how the HIV epidemic has impacted women in Ontario is a relatively new topic. This is, of course, despite women having been affected by HIV since the beginning. These are some of the challenges that face the women who live with or are at risk for HIV. They are manifold and they are ingrained, but they are not insurmountable.
The reality is that out of all Canadians living with HIV, more than one in four don't know they are living with it. And for those of us working with African, Caribbean and Black communities in Canada, it doesn't surprise us to learn that Joseph is a Black man. People from African, Caribbean and Black communities in Canada are disproportionately affected by HIV and AIDS.
Canada has an extensive network of healthcare professionals, community-based organizations and AIDS service organizations contributing greatly to reducing the incidence of HIV. But a new report on HIV infections from the Public Health Agency of Canada illustrates the need to expand the reach and impact of HIV prevention and treatment efforts.
Closing this access gap means expanding health systems to include grassroots outreach and the community-level advocates who lead the charge. It is well documented that village-level and even home-based HIV testing greatly improve rates of testing. The same is true for HIV education, counselling, and treatment follow-up.
One key promise of Multi-Purpose Prevention Technologies is that they will allow women to take control over their own sexual and reproductive health decisions. But I can't help but wonder about the difference between putting prevention and contraception 'in women's hands' versus 'on women's shoulders.'