Tomorrow, we join millions of people across the globe to observe World AIDS Day. Since 1998, the day has united people to raise awareness about HIV and AIDS. It is an opportunity to join in solidarity, the millions of people living with and affected by HIV.
“Getting to Zero” has been the theme of the World AIDS Day since 2011 and will be used until 2015. It resonates with the UNAIDS vision of achieving: “zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination, zero AIDS-related deaths.” This theme encourages individuals and communities to have a non-discriminatory approach to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support.
According to UNAIDS, in 2011, an estimated 34 million people were living with HIV worldwide. In Canada, at the end of 2008, it was estimated that approximately 65,000 Canadians were living with HIV. For more information on AIDS in Canada, please visit the Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research website.
In Guelph, we are fortunate to have organizations like I Have Hope in the Fight and Bracelet of Hope which engage Canadians in the fight against HIV and AIDS in Africa. We also have the AIDS Committee of Guelph & Wellington County that continues to assist people to manage the social effects of HIV and AIDS in our community. The other day, the Committee was at City Hall promoting AIDS awareness week. Tomorrow, I will be attending a World AIDS Day event organized by Bracelet of Hope.
We are deeply grateful for the efforts of these organizations and many others in our community.