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HIV/AIDS is everyone's concern

NUSU President Joshua Fortier ties a ribbon on the Tree of Hope Friday during a a special ceremony held in the main Education Centre foyer to recognize the most devastating diseases of our time.

NUSU President Joshua Fortier ties a ribbon on the Tree of Hope Friday during a a special ceremony held in the main Education Centre foyer to recognize the most devastating diseases of our time.

There is no cure, there is no vaccine and all Canadians are likely at risk for HIV. The Canadian AIDS Society statistics show that there are 58,000 reported Canadians currently living with HIV/AIDS in Canada a sobering statistic that makes HIV/AIDS everyone's concern.

AIDS Committee of North Bay and Area (ACNBA) staff and volunteers have been busy all week bringing the AIDS Awareness Week theme message ‘Leadership’ out into the community. Today officials from Nipissing University and Canadore College, NUSU/CSRC, along with Mayor Vic Fedeli and Lindsay Furlong from MP Anthony Rota’s office joined the ACNBA staff for a special ceremony held in the main Education Centre foyer to recognize the most devastating diseases of our time and how each of us can make a difference.

In thanking everyone for supporting the event Executive Director Dr. Stacey L. Mayhall said that the devastation HIV/AIDS brings to a community it is important to remember that there is hope for a cure.

“We are here to offer a Red Ribbon to a Tree of Hope. It’s a small symbol, representing big dreams,” she read from a prepared statement.

“We are here, because we know the devastation that HIV/AIDS has had on our world, our country and our community,” she continued.

“But while much of what we’ve heard is negative, our purpose here this morning is to show hope. Hope that someday soon we won’t have to have ceremonies, because there won’t be a need.”

Monday December 1st is World AIDS Day and ACNBA will mark the end of their awareness week with the Educate-A-Thon at Nipissing Library Lecture Room from 9am to 7pm.
Local art galleries will also mark the day by participating in A Day Without Art by covering works of art to signify the impact HIV/AIDS has had on the arts community.

To help out or for more information visit the office located at 269 Main St. West, Suite 201.

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•58,000 people in Canada are currently living with HIV and AIDS. Of these people, about one-quarter (27%) are unaware of their HIV status, with 2, 558 new cases of HIV reported in 2006.

•It is estimated that 11 people are newly infected with HIV in Canada daily.

•Since 2002, the number of people in Canada infected with HIV has increased by 16%.
This year, approximately 3,400 people will be infected with HIV.

•At 39.6%, men who have sex with men (MSM) account for the largest proportion of newly reported positive HIV test reports.

•Women now account for approximately one-fifth of all people living with HIV/AIDS in
Canada. This is in contrast to the period of 1985 to 1995, when women accounted for about one-tenth of people living with HIV/AIDS in Canada. Nearly 75% of new infections among women can be attributed to heterosexual transmission. In 2006, women represented 27.8% of all new HIV test reports.

•People who use injection drugs represent 19.3% of total positive HIV test reports among adults.

•The infection rate for Aboriginal people is 7.5%, while Aboriginal people represent approximately 3% of the Canadian population.

•People from countries where HIV is endemic are over-represented. While they comprise only 1.5% of the Canadian population, their estimated infection rate is almost 13 times higher than among other Canadians.

•Of positive HIV tests reports, the age group with the largest number of new infections is that of 30 to 39 year olds for both men (39.1%) and women (36%).

•As a group, heterosexual men and women accounted for just under one third of all positive HIV test reports in 2006. This exposure category has steadily increased from 7.5% of all infections in 1995.

•The total number of reported AIDS diagnoses in Canada for the year 2006 was 255.
This is dramatically lower than the year of the highest number of AIDS diagnoses, 1993 with 1,827.

Source:
Public Health Agency of Canada. HIV and AIDS in Canada Surveillance Report to December 31, 2006. Ottawa: November 2007.

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