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Government of Canada shows international leadership to Addressing HIV/AIDS

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SOURCE Public Health Agency of Canada

MELBOURNE, Australia, July 23, 2014 /CNW/ - The Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Health, participated in the 20th International AIDS Conference this week in Melbourne, Australia. During the Conference sessions, meetings and side events, Minister Ambrose reinforced Canada's continued commitment to global efforts to address HIV/AIDS and to advancing a comprehensive and integrated long-term approach to address HIV/AIDS in Canada.

While in Melbourne, Minister Ambrose toured the Burnet Institute, an organization that links medical research with public health action, to learn about innovative Australian research that aligns with Canadian and global health research and priorities on HIV/AIDS. In addition, Minister Ambrose and members of the International Indigenous Working Group on HIV/AIDS (IIWGHA) visited Victorian Aboriginal Health Services (VAHS) to learn about some of its initiatives and services that address the health needs of Indigenous communities and to share wise and promising practices.

Throughout the week, the Minister met with Canadian and international partners and stakeholders including:

  • Representatives from Canadian civil society organizations to discuss trends, promising practices and future opportunities for the Canadian response to HIV;

  • Mr. Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) to reaffirm Canada's commitment to actions on HIV/AIDS, the Canada/UNAIDS partnership agreement, and Canada's continued support for UNAIDS activities, including those related to Aboriginal Peoples health and prevention of sexually transmissible and blood-borne infections;

  • Fiona Nash, Assistant Minister for Health, Australia, to discuss national priorities and innovative best practices related to HIV/AIDS and mutual health interests such as indigenous health, violence prevention in indigenous populations, palliative care and tobacco control;

  • Officials of the Executive Committee from the International Indigenous Working Group on HIV and AIDS to signal Canada's continued commitment to addressing HIV/AIDS in Indigenous populations domestically and globally and to share wise and promising practices; and

  • Co-chairs from the National Aboriginal Council on HIV/AIDS to seek their perspectives on key issues of interest from the conference.

At every meeting Minister Ambrose reiterated Canada's commitment in finding a cure and used social media to promote #TowardsACure.

Quick Facts

  • Canada is proud to be a strong supporter of efforts to address HIV and AIDS on many fronts. Through the Federal Initiative to Address HIV/AIDS in Canada and the Canadian HIV Vaccine Initiative, the Government of Canada is investing over $86 million this year alone and over $700 million since 2006 as part of its broader efforts to address HIV and AIDS.

  • The Canadian HIV Vaccine Initiative (CHVI) is a collaborative initiative with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and since 2007 has provided over $90 million to support more than 65 domestic and international projects in science, research, collaboration, capacity building, policy development and community engagement. Through the CHVI, Canada is poised to accelerate the development of a safe and effective HIV vaccine by building on Canada's scientific excellence for the benefit of those most in need in Canada and in Africa.

  • Last year, the Public Health Agency of Canada released its HIV Screening and Testing Guide to health care providers across Canada to make HIV testing available to more people as part of their routine medical care so that those who may have otherwise remained unaware of infection can access available treatment and take steps to prevent the spread of infection. It also aims to foster a positive environment for testing so those who might otherwise be reluctant to get tested can do so without feeling stigmatized.

  • Canada has been a strong supporter of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria since its inception in 2002. Canada was pleased to increase its contribution by 20% for the 2014-2016 periods. Canada is proud to have contributed to the Global Fund's achievement in ensuring that 6.1 million people are currently receiving lifesaving antiretroviral treatment for AIDS.

  • Canada's global HIV/AIDS efforts, through the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development focuses on strengthening health systems; maternal, newborn and child health; and investing in the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS.

  • From May 28 to 30, 2014, in Toronto, the Prime Minister hosted Saving Every Woman, Every Child: Within Arm's Reach. At the Summit, Canada committed $3.5 billion in support for the period of 2015-2020 and renewed global momentum to advance maternal, newborn and child health as a global priority beyond 2015. Canada's contribution will continue to target the most effective ways to reduce maternal and child deaths by prioritizing three programmatic areas: strengthening of health systems, improving nutrition, and reducing the burden of leading diseases, including AIDS.

Quotes
"Australia and Canada share mutual health priorities, such as promoting active and healthy living, indigenous health, chronic disease prevention, and addressing the health challenges of aging populations. Meeting with Minister Nash provided a valuable opportunity to discuss our governments' innovative solutions and investments to improve the health and well-being of the citizens of our countries."
The Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Health

"Our Government is committed to supporting collaboration, research, innovation and building capacity, at home and globally to address HIV/AIDS. We have made some significant progress in our response to HIV/AIDS over the years, but challenges still remain. The 20th International AIDS Conference creates a unique opportunity to build relationships, mobilize collective efforts, and explore innovative and collaborative ways to ensure that at-risk populations are not left behind. We remain committed and will continue to work towards finding a cure."
The Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Health

"Canadian civil society and Aboriginal groups play an active and important role in helping to prevent the acquisition and transmission of HIV, facilitate access to prevention, care and treatment services, and improve health outcomes for people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS in Canada. And, as evidenced by this year's AIDS conference, they play an important role on the international stage as well, contributing their knowledge and expertise to global efforts. I am very proud of the contributions of our country to this important world event."
The Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Health

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