November 29, 2011
UNAIDS has a new five year strategy for Getting to Zero.
Zero transmission and zero new HIV infections globally. This is an incredible challenge considering there are 34 million people living with HIV in the world. Yet, there are indicators of success and glimmers of hope that suggest that there is chance of getting to see the end of AIDS. This years UNAIDS world AIDS day report gives an overview of the challenges ahead.
We are at a pivotal moment in addressing new HIV infections globally.
Economic fallouts, unstable environments and shifting political agendas threaten the progress that has been made. World AIDS day provides a focal point for us to call upon our leaders to take on the hard issues and honor their commitments to end HIV and AIDS.
“Drug users now account for a third of all HIV infections outside of sub-Saharan Africa; their devastation is compounded by perverse, punitive, destructive government policies.” Stephen Lewis
Here in Canada it is disconcerting that the Canadian Federal government is moving towards increased criminalization as a mode of drug crime prevention. The evidence is clear , imposing punitive measures on people who do not hurt others in their drug use is unproductive and harmful. It’s difficult to understand why change has not come faster.The war on drugs has not succeeded and the race to end AIDS requires that we act wisely and prudently. Let us look to the evidence to guide us, honor human rights and promote healthy lifestyles. The Canadian Drug Policy Coalition partners have many campaigns for health, human rights and change.
The week of November 24 to December 1 marks Canadian HIV/AIDS Awareness Week.
Check out whats going on in your area.
Coalition Partners in Change:
The Canadian AIDS Society is commemorating it 25th anniversary this year and has chosen this years theme to be DO Something. They have a video contest with a winner to be announced shortly and a number of poster and list of resources and events happening throughout Canada.
Overall, the HIV infection rate for Aboriginal people (First Nations, Métis and Inuit) was about 3.6 times higher than among other Canadians. This year the Aboriginal Aids Awareness week will provide an opportunity to reach out to national Aboriginal organizations, government partners, health care providers, and community leaders to support change through their own action and by supporting the actions of others.
Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network has been working on a number of fronts to challenge unproductive and punitive drug laws.They have recently developed a toolkit for dealing with HIV and criminalization. In another more recent report the Legal Network has called for pragmatic strategies to reducing harms such as HIV based on principals of humane and human rights-based addiction treatment.