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It's so important for Canada to look at how it invests its foreign aid through a feminist viewpoint.
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This discrepancy between HIV/AIDS treatment and LGBTQ rights is a continued battle, and hope lies in education and acceptance. Without eradicating the stigma surrounding LGBTQ citizens, the world's most vulnerable populations will have little hope of eradicating HIV/AIDS on a global scale.
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Apps such as Tinder and Grindr have gained popularity over the last few years. Many utilize the programs to find casual sexual partners. This specific purpose has led some researchers to believe digital dating may be the underlying reason for the rise in cases. This allegation, while reasonable in appearance, does not come without criticism.
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"If I have sex, I could go to jail." This is the reality of life for women living with HIV in Canada. It's a story I heard a few weeks ago from an African woman who had recently immigrated to Vancouver and is now faced with the profoundly isolating experience of being a Black HIV-positive woman in Canadian society.
HIV has lost its steam. With access to medicine and treatment slowly increasing for many (but not all), a world without HIV is in our sights. Hallelujah. Maybe. The virus may be losing its steam but its stigma is destroying lives. Especially in Ontario. Our dirty little secret is that Ontario is responsible for 54% of all Canadian HIV non-disclosure criminal cases. In a world where ARVS (anti-retrovirals) have made a reality, stigma remains lethal. Two new pieces of art take on HIV stigma full frontal.
Afro-Canadian Positive Network of B.C.
"We succeeded in getting these kids free HIV drugs and support. But if they can't keep the meds safe then the whole thing falls apart."
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Even with access to care, I saw the Afro-Canadian positive community around me failing to receive the care they need. Refugees face many challenges -- being a newcomer, being alone, dealing with trauma. In addition, the shame of having HIV was profound; merely walking into an HIV clinic caused widespread gossip and shaming within the community.
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The Supreme Court has ruled that people living with the HIV virus carry a positive legal obligation to disclosure their HIV-positive status, regardless of the circumstance, prior to engaging in sexual relations with a new partner. If they do not, they could be charged with criminal offence -- most commonly of which would be aggravated sexual assault.
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As minister of International Development and La Francophonie, I have visited 15 or so countries and Canada's re-engagement was pointed out to me during each of them. But what does this re-engagement really mean? Here are five major achievements that speak to Canada's re-engagement on the international scene and the impact of our actions.
I'm just going to come right out and say it: I think Americans have a lot to be concerned about unless, among other things, they don't care about their freedom to choose and their basic human rights. Have you been paying attention to Donald Trump's nominees? Do you know what they believe in and stand for? I have been keeping up with his picks and their platforms. And let me tell you, unless I was an affluent, white, heterosexual, conservative Christian man, I'd be more than a little nervous.
We are just three years away from being called to account for our progress towards the 2020 Fast-Track targets -- a critical milestone in ending the AIDS epidemic. We still have a great distance to travel before we're able to call it a success. Measures to close this gap are readily available, but what we need is an all hands-on deck approach.
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Thirty-seven years old. In 2030, I will be 37 years old. In 2030, the AIDS epidemic will be eliminated. I hope. According to the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) or "Global Goals" that's the plan. I pray to God they're right. I can wait till 37, but if I'm being honest, I expect to be waiting much past that.
Nitika Pant Pai
Speaking at the recent Global Fund replenishment conference in Montreal, Mr. Trudeau touted that "Canada will continue to lead by example, and show the world what we can accomplish when we unite in pursuit of a larger goal." However, this declaration came at a time when HIV rates have been steadily rising across the country, people with HIV being criminalized for non-disclosure and underfunding for HIV organizations.
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December 1st is World AIDS Day. A diagnosis of HIV today is not a death sentence. There are good diagnostic tools, and effective antiretroviral treatments. Despite these tools, about 40 per cent of individuals living with HIV do not know that they are infected. This has to change.
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While I am a doctor with a strong inner-surgeon-voice, my years working and living in countries in Africa and in urban and rural Canada convinced me long ago that we need to pay attention not just to vaccines and drugs, not even just to health care and health services, but to the ideas, money, conflicts, and energy behind what we see.
Global Fund announced that pledges totalling US$12.9 billion were made. This is almost US$1 billion more than what was raised at the previous replenishment conference in 2013 and represents a significant commitment to fighting the three diseases over the coming three years. But will it be enough to end the three epidemics for good?
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Picture this scenario: An individual living with HIV in British Columbia, "Doug" (whose name has been changed for privacy), was being "shuffled around" through care. As a result, he had grown tired and had mostly given up on treating his HIV.
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Experimental U.K. treatment made HIV "undetectable" in a patient's blood during clinical trials.
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Older women/grandmothers in sub-Saharan Africa are rarely recognized or included in programs and policies addressing HIV/AIDS, health-care strengthening and development assistance. Yet they are at the centre of the pandemic.
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By the time Loyce was 10, both her mother and her younger brother had died of AIDS and tuberculosis. She didn't know she was suffering from the same diseases until she was diagnosed two years later, and her young and difficult life was once again turned upside down.
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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.
This time of year, parents are acutely aware of the complexities of raising a child. But imagine if another variable -- a potentially deadly disease -- could affect your child at any moment. For millions of people around the world, uncertainty is a daily reality.
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Dollars are desperately needed to fight AIDS, TB and malaria, but they will not stretch very far if the international trade barriers that currently restrict access to essential medicines continue to prevent low-income people and countries from getting the treatments they need.
And all for a good cause.
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According to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, AIDS-related deaths have dropped by 45 per cent, malaria death rates are down by 60 per cent and tuberculosis mortality has diminished by 47 per cent. These are exciting achievements, but not nearly as exciting as the possibility of ending those diseases for good.
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In many parts of Africa, there are women who have no way of negotiating the choice, or use, of contraceptives with a partner. There are women in relationships who have no option of refusing sex, nor the power to require use of a condom. While HIV infections among the general population of eastern and southern Africa have been plummeting, it has resurfaced and started to grow among adolescent girls and young women.
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What does it mean to reach vulnerable populations? How do we locate them, let alone create programs that will help them to access health care? National statistics tell us that among El Salvador's general population, an estimated 0.5 per cent of people have HIV, consistent with other countries in the region.
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The most vivid memory I have of my mum is her groaning during the last few minutes of her life, as she battled AIDS. This is my story. And I'm not alone.
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In the most affected countries, girls account for more than 80 per cent of all new HIV infection cases among adolescents. This is an alarming statistic. Entire generations of young women are seeing their lives shattered before they even begin because, through lack of education and, primarily, the violence they suffer, their rights are not respected.
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Antiquated policies like the ban against men who have sex with men (MSM) bring into question just how progressive health and social policies are. The MSM policy mandates that even if MSM are healthy, they must abstain from intimacy for a pre-determined period in order to donate their blood to those who need it.
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Swaziland has the highest rates of HIV infection in the world. Beckham saw how his fund is helping UNICEF to provide children with life-saving treatment and care and learned how over the next three years the 7 Fund is committed to contributing 27 per cent of UNICEF Swaziland's annual budget for HIV/AIDS.
Canadians might be surprised to learn that many health and social services widely available in the community are not available in most of Canada's correctional facilities -- this needs to change. We are missing a critical window of opportunity to reframe the period of incarceration as a time to help people improve their health and well-being before returning to our communities.