**** CNS Media Release
Province Marks HIV/AIDS Awareness Week and World AIDS Day
People living with HIV/AIDS and those who have died from the disease are being honoured today with the raising of a red ribbon flag at Province House in Halifax.
This year’s World AIDS Day theme, Communities Make the Difference, recognizes the important contribution communities have and continue to make in response to HIV/AIDS. Communities include people living with HIV as well as those who defend human rights, deliver services and provide support.
“Prevention, early diagnosis and access to treatment are vital in the work to reduce the impact of HIV infection and improve the health of Nova Scotians living with HIV/AIDS,” said Health and Wellness Minister Randy Delorey. “Communities have and continue to make a huge difference. I want to thank the many Nova Scotians who have worked tirelessly over the years to provide support and reduce stigma. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Nova Scotia Advisory Commission on AIDS. Over the last 30 years, the commission has made a significant contribution to the province’s response to HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections.”
The Nova Scotia Advisory Commission is an arm’s-length agency that provides advice to the provincial government on HIV/AIDS and related matters.
“Despite many advances and innovations in prevention, testing and treatment, the overall burden of HIV and other sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections, and their associated costs have increased in Nova Scotia and across Canada. The Nova Scotia Advisory Commission on AIDS is committed to advancing what is necessary to reverse trends and improve access to services and supports.”
– Michelle Proctor-Simms, director, Nova Scotia Advisory Commission on AIDS
“It has been an honour to work with the Nova Scotia Advisory Commission on AIDS on a wide range of policy responses to HIV. We can be grateful to the commission for its sustained determination in fighting for programs and policies that reduce the harms of HIV in Nova Scotia.”
– San Patten, president, San Patten and Associates, a Halifax-based consulting practice that specializes in HIV policy and community-based research
“I want to offer my sincere congratulations to the commission on their vital contributions to advancing the HIV and AIDS policy landscape in Nova Scotia over the past three decades. During that time, HIV and AIDS advances have shifted and changed, as have the priorities of funders and governments. Throughout these shifts, the commission has continued to be at the forefront in advancing our collective understanding of the ways in which we can combine prevention, care, treatment and support to improve the lives of those impacted by HIV and AIDS”.
– Jacqueline Gahagan, professor, Dalhousie University and co-director, Atlantic Interdisciplinary Research Network
— HIV/AIDS Awareness Week runs from Nov. 24 to Dec. 1, World AIDS Day is on Dec. 1 and Aboriginal AIDS Awareness Week in Canada is Dec. 1 to 6
— World AIDS Day commemorates those who have passed reflects on the global response to HIV and the work that remains and raises awareness about the spread of HIV and AIDS
— in 2018, 31 Nova Scotians tested positive for HIV, up from 15 the previous year. So far this year, HIV diagnoses decreased by 44 per cent over the same period last year
— from 1983 to the end of 2018, 903 HIV cases have been diagnosed in Nova Scotia (this does not include those who were first diagnosed outside of Nova Scotia)
— in July 2018, government increased access to HIV prevention medication (PrEP) by adding it to provincial Pharmacare programs
For information on HIV testing and other sexually transmitted blood borne infections in Nova Scotia, visit: https://www.acns.ns.ca/info-resources/testing.html
For information about HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C and World AIDS Day, visit: https://www.catie.ca/en/world-aids-day
For more information on the Nova Scotia Advisory Commission on AIDS, including the Review of Nova Scotia Strategy on HIV/AIDS, visit: https://www.novascotia.ca/AIDS
The Public Health Agency of Canada’s pan-Canadian framework for reducing the health impact of sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections in Canada: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/infectious-diseases/sexual-health-sexually-transmitted-infections/reports-publications/sexually-transmitted-blood-borne-infections-action-framework.html