Statement by Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath on World AIDS Day
The HIV/AIDS epidemic has claimed millions of lives around the globe. More than 75,000 Canadians and 30,000 Ontarians currently live with HIV/AIDS. On World AIDS Day we recognize those who have died, we raise awareness about the virus and fight against the stigmatization of those who suffer with this horrible disease.
Globally there have been great strides in the both fight against the spread of HIV/AIDS and the care for the people who are infected with virus. People with HIV and AIDS now live longer and enjoy much improved quality of life than they did just a generation ago.
There is, however, still more that needs to be done here in Ontario to spread awareness. We must ensure that at-risk individuals have access to the testing, services, care and support necessary to treat and, ultimately, end this epidemic. This will require meaningful consultation with groups who are disproportionally affected and a commitment to addressing the social factors that put people at risk.
On behalf on Ontario’s New Democrats, I am pleased to mark World AIDS Day and the start of Aboriginal AIDS Awareness Week. We are proud to support this year’s theme of ‘Getting to zero’, and we recommit ourselves to working to achieve a province and a world with zero new HIV infections, zero AIDS-related deaths and zero discrimination against those who suffer with this disease.
New Democrats thank the many organizations, committees and dedicated activists who fight to raise awareness and provide support for those affected every single day.