Awareness campaign: « Today, I’m thinking positively »


Aujourd’hui, j’pense positif

November 26, 2015

MaternitéOn the occasion of World AIDS Day, COCQ-SIDA and its affiliates launch an appeal for a positive attitude so as to end discrimination against persons living with HIV.
Even though scientific and therapeutic advances have reduced the infectious nature of HIV and the risks of transmission of the virus, people living with HIV continue to be subjected to stigmatisation and discrimination.

TravailWork, neighbourly relations, alternative health care, friendship, love, sport and maternity are the 7 themes of this awareness campaign which places emphasis above all on « positiveness » so as to debunk the myths surrounding HIV, which are still deep-rooted.

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CASM: the HIV/AIDS organisation by and for women


November 26, 2015

CASMThis year’s launch of the new website of the Centre for AIDS Services Montreal (Women) – CASM – is a beautiful opportunity to introduce to you our organisation, the only one in Quebec devoted exclusively to the specific issue of women dealing with HIV/AIDS.

The Centre’s mission is to provide women infected and affected by HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections (STBBI) along with their families, with education and prevention activities, support and accompaniment services, and representation to defend their interests.

These actions, which prioritise in particular the specific needs of women and their families living below the poverty line, are aimed at enhancing their ability to act on their circumstances and improve their quality of life.

The Centre began its activities in1990 in order to make up for the lack of resources and services for HIV-positive women in Montreal. At the time it was made up of a group of female volunteers who offered their services to women infected and affected by HIV/AIDS. Since then more than a thousand people have benefited from the Centre’s services! Volunteers continue to be the pillars of our organisation, participating actively in its functioning and in all spheres of our action on behalf of women and the general population. Most of our volunteers are peer assistants because the principle of women helping women is at the core of our interventions; it is the reason why we exist.

Marie Niyongere, Director

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Morocco – Testing: the first step towards ending HIV/AIDS


November 26, 2015


© Coalition PLUS (Daniel Hérard)

Ahead of World Aids Day on 1 December, the ALCS, a Moroccan member of Coalition PLUS, is organising its traditional National Testing Days in November in partnership with Morocco’s Ministry of Health. Objective: Facilitate access to free, anonymous HIV testing for the people of Morocco, in keeping with the objectives of the national strategic plan for the fight against AIDS.

During the previous edition of this event, 38,500 tests were administered in the 28 centres and 5 mobile units (buses) run by the ALCS in 40 towns and villages of the Kingdom. A formidable result made possible by the commitment of 50 volunteer doctors throughout the four-week-long operation.

According to UNAIDS estimates, there are more than 30 000 persons living with HIV in Morocco, and 80% of them are unaware that they are infected since they have not been tested. Moreover, 60% of persons who have been diagnosed as HIV-positive only gain access to medical care at a late stage of infection. Yet, many studies have shown that someone who has been diagnosed early and provided with treatment from an early stage no longer transmits the virus thanks to the protective effects of the treatment. Testing, therefore, is definitely the first step towards ending the epidemic.


New protest against underfunding of Quebec’s community groups


November 26, 2015

on fermeThis last November 2nd and 3rd, close to 1,300 community groups closed their doors in protest against their precarious funding. The strike movement, which affected the whole of Quebec, was accompanied by demonstrations that drew attention to a funding shortfall, estimated at 250 million dollars, that has led many organisations to fear that they may be forced to close for good.

By reducing services, the government’s austerity policy deeply hurts the rights of poor, marginalised people and the community organisations that work with and for them. As people’s needs increase, they rely more and more to the organisations, whose funding, on the other hand, does not increase.
The under-funding of community groups is nothing new, but current government policies have been weakening the organisations, preventing them from fully carrying out their mission.

In this difficult situation, Fqsida takes the opportunity to thank you once again for your support and loyalty!

On 2 and 3 November, Fqsida, in solidarity with its member organisations and the community movement as a whole, made an exceptional gesture by closing its doors and interrupting its activities.

Much still needs to be done to match our ambitions!


November 26, 2015

As we highlight the 28th World AIDS Day, the international community continues to work towards achieving the aim of UNAIDS’ strategy, « Objective zero: Zero new HIV infections, Zero discrimination, Zero AIDS-related deaths”. As 2016 dawns, the portrait of the battle against AIDS/HIV is full of hope.

We are seeing a net decline of the epidemic: the number of new cases has been falling for about 15 years and, over the past 10 years, so has the number of AIDS-related deaths.

These results are attributable to a large extent on improved access to treatment. Additionally, anti-retroviral therapy, which today has fewer side effects, is now synonymous with better health and a closer-to-normal life expectancy for people living with HIV. Moreover, when used correctly, treatment reduces the viral load until it becomes undetectable, which can reduce the risk of HIV transmission by 90%. Thus, the progress registered in treatment and prevention, as well as in human rights, opens up real prospects.

However, ending the epidemic by 2030 , as per the objectives of UNAIDS, will still require a great deal of work, mainly with regard to making testing more accessible, enabling the 22 million untested persons living with HIV to be treated, and sustaining and intensifying prevention efforts. This is because a number of challenges still need to be overcome. These include the cost of medicines, which is still too high, taboos linked to HIV and the resulting stigmatisation and discrimination, socio-economic inequalities, the criminalization of homosexuality, which persist in certain countries, and the criminalization of people living with HIV.