WITHOUT YOUR SUPPORT, THE GOAL WOULD BE OUT OF REACH.
October 15th, 2012
On July 26, the La Presse newspaper revealed that the Ministry of Health and Social Services had decided to cancel the World AIDS Day campaign for “financial reasons.”
This news was hard for the HIV/AIDS community to understand, particularly since it came at a time when advances in science could soon lead to the eradication of HIV/AIDS. But without political support, this goal will remain out of reach.
What’s more, the Director of Public Health made a clear statement in his report on sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections (.0), L’épidémie silencieuse(2010): “Over the past ten years, the problem has grown (…) Talk and action are needed, especially since these infections are transmittable and avoidable.” In light of these statistical and social indicators, it seems both illogical and dangerous not to make a significant investment in the fight against STBBIs.
And this is not the first time the Ministry’s annual campaign has been jeopardized; it’s happened before, and each time the mobilization of the community has prevented its suppression, demanding that the Quebec government take responsibility for spreading public awareness.
These budgetary restrictions for “financial reasons” have repercussions on the whole community. And they also have a cost. We pay the cost in new HIV and STBBI infections, and in the loss of the potential societal contribution of HIV positive individuals as a result of the prejudice that will continue to thrive in the absence of awareness.
For organizations, the result of these decisions is invariably the same: they respond as best they can to the needs of a community the state has failed to serve. And without your support, even this goal would be out of reach.
That’s why this year, for the fourth consecutive year, the community movement is calling for the campaign budget to not only be reinstated, but to be made permanent. By doing this, the new government can show us that they are committed to be active partners in the fight against HIV/AIDS and STBBIs.
Thank you for your support in the fight against HIV/AIDS!