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Canada may have gone farther than most countries in harsh treatment of HIV non-disclosure. What will the Supreme Court say?

Under Canadian law, a person living with HIV may be guilty of a crime [opens to PDF] for not disclosing his or her HIV-positive status before engaging in certain activities. Charges have been laid against people living with HIV in numerous cases, particularly cases involving sexual contact.

But a group called the Global Commission on HIV and the Law has taken the position that nondisclosure of HIV status, as well as sex work and possession of drugs for personal use, should all be decriminalized [Download the report in PDF]. (more…)

War on drugs is implicated in the spread of HIV

September 13th, 2012 | Posted by pfmarchive in uncategorized - (Comments Off on War on drugs is implicated in the spread of HIV)

International experts, activists, and health professionals agree that ‘we cannot end AIDS until we end the war on drugs’

The 18th International AIDS Conference, held in Vienna in 2010, included a high-profile statement called The Vienna Declaration. The declaration, which has since been endorsed by over 20,000 groups, organizations, and individuals, rests firmly on the principle that drug policy should be based on science, not on ideology. It states that “the criminalization of illicit drug users is fuelling the HIV epidemic and has resulted in overwhelmingly negative health and social consequences.” (more…)

‘It’s different now,” a new social marketing campaign says, as warnings to ‘high-risk groups’ become yesterday’s news

This year’s 2011 World AIDS Day campaign is about “getting to zero”—zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination, zero AIDS-related deaths. The campaign is set to run until 2015.

An estimated 65,000 Canadians are living with HIV—with perhaps 26% of those people unaware of their HIV status. It’s one reason why Vancouver Coastal Health says that every adult who has not had an HIV test in the past year should have one the next time they have a blood test for any reason. (more…)

Walking at VIU for the AIDS cause

September 15th, 2011 | Posted by pfmarchive in uncategorized - (Comments Off on Walking at VIU for the AIDS cause)

National event raises funds to provide support and services for Canadians living with HIV/AIDS in their communities

The Scotiabank AIDS Walk for Life is a national awareness and fundraising event that takes place every year in communities across Canada. Funds raised support direct programs and services for Canadians living with HIV/AIDS in their communities. On Thursday September 22, AIDS Vancouver Island will hold its Nanaimo and area AIDS Walk at Vancouver Island University.

As many as 68,000 people are living with HIV/AIDS in Canada. One third of them don’t even know it. There is no cure and no vaccine to prevent new infections. Women make up a growing proportion of people living with or at risk of HIV/AIDS in Canada. (more…)

Now, more than ever

January 20th, 2011 | Posted by pfmarchive in uncategorized - (Comments Off on Now, more than ever)

Treatment as prevention is a new—but underutilized— approach to preventing HIV/AIDS in B.C.

Leading international HIV/AIDS expert and researcher Dr. Julio Montaner will be in Nanaimo next week to speak about the “Treatment as Prevention” approach to HIV. Remarkable advances in HIV treatment have been achieved in B.C. over the past two decades, but uptake of those treatments remains suboptimal—particularly among hard to reach individuals with challenges related to drug dependency, mental illness, limited education and unstable housing. (more…)

AVI 25 years and counting

December 2nd, 2010 | Posted by pfmarchive in uncategorized - (Comments Off on AVI 25 years and counting)

Vancouver Island’s regional AIDS organization continues its work amid change and challenge

On September 17, 1985, five men sat around a kitchen table and decided it was time to meet the challenge posed by the AIDS epidemic on Vancouver Island. That evening saw the birth of AIDS Vancouver Island (AVI), with the founders forming the first board of directors. Now, 25 years later, AVI serves the communities of Greater Victoria, Nanaimo, the Comox Valley, and Campbell River, and also offers services in the Port Hardy area. (more…)