Comments from the Prime Minister and the NDP on World AIDS Day. (We’ll update this post through the day.)
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
“World AIDS Day is an opportunity for us to unite with the global community to raise awareness about HIV and AIDS, to stand in solidarity with those living with the virus, and to remember those who have died.
“Almost three decades after the first World AIDS Day was held, we are now at a point where we can envision a future free of this terrible disease.
“We thank the Canadian researchers and doctors who have played such an important role in the medical advancements that have revolutionized the prevention and treatment of HIV, making it possible for many diagnosed with the infection to live full lives.
“We must also honour the dedicated members of our communities who work to prevent HIV/AIDS, reduce stigma and discrimination in its many forms, and help people get the care, treatment, and support they need.
“While unprecedented efforts have yielded impressive results, work continues toward preventing new infections, providing access to treatment for all who suffer around the world, and discovering a cure.
“Today, we reflect on the history of our global efforts against HIV and AIDS, and look forward to a time when future generations will never have to experience the loss, hurt, and isolation of this preventable and treatable condition.”
NDP Health critic Don Davies (Vancouver Kingsway)
“This year’s theme for World AIDS Day is “getting to zero.” The progressive opposition NDP calls on the government of Canada to commit itself to the eradication of the disease.
“Every person living with HIV/AIDS has the right to timely access to affordable drugs, antiretroviral treatment and the care they need. That is how we will one day eradicate AIDS.
“While it is true that inspiring and encouraging advances have been made in recent years, the tragic fact is that 1.2 million people worldwide died of AIDS in 2013. In Canada, the most recent statistics show that 71,300 are currently living with HIV/AIDS and every three hours someone gets infected with the virus.
“This year, at the 8th International Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention in Vancouver, numerous specialists prepared and signed the Vancouver Consensus. In this document, they stated: Science has delivered solutions. The question for the world is: When will we put it into practice?
The government must respond to their call and take action now.”