VICTORIA B.C. – Andrew Weaver, leader of the B.C. Green Party, issued the following statement on World AIDS Day 2017:
“World AIDS Day continues to serve as an international reminder of the horrendous plight of HIV/AIDS in the modern world. We must pay it heed, particularly because the disease’s significance and impact seems to increasingly fade from the forefront of many people’s minds.
“In many ways, we have made important steps forward for those living with and at risk of contracting HIV/AIDS in the last year. In particular, I am mindful of the work that has been done to address illicit drug use, especially in the form of the Fentanyl crisis. The new SOGI 123 curriculum is now in active use, teaching our children to understand and value their sexual orientation and gender identity. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau recently issued a formal apology for the federal government’s historic discrimination against the LGBTQ2+ community.
“However, there are critical and urgent supports that still need to be addressed. My colleague Sonia Furstenau has written to the Ministry of Health to request they review the inclusion of PrEP in the provincial drug program. She joins NDP MLA Spencer Chandra-Herbert in advocating for this life-saving medication. I can think of no other contribution more important to preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS than this drug at this time in British Columbia.
“We must continue to fight the stigma of HIV/AIDS, be mindful of the communities most impacted by this disease such as First Nations, LGBTQ2+ and injection drug users, invest in education and embrace new and innovative practices that reduce the impact of living with HIV/AIDS and the possibility of contracting it. With millions of Canadians living with or at greater risk of contracting the disease, all of us are affected by its scourge on our communities. I hope that this time next year, I can reflect on even greater developments in the fight against HIV/AIDS in B.C. and across Canada.”
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Jillian Oliver, Press Secretary
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