The North Bay Police Service is getting involved with the U=U campaign for HIV education.
The North Bay Police Service is taking part in the Undetectable=Untransmittable (U=U) campaign, organized by the Prevention Access Campaign and the science behind which is endorsed by Canada’s Council of Chief Medical Officers of Health.
The North Bay Police Service will use materials provided by the U=U campaign to enhance the HIV education provided to its members. The U=U campaign helps increase awareness that individuals who are HIV+, take treatment, and maintain an undetectable viral load cannot sexually transmit HIV.
A 2017 statement from the Council of Chief Medical Officers of Health explains, “Across studies to date, there have been no confirmed cases of sexually transmitted HIV to an HIV-negative partner when the HIV-positive partner was continuously on antiretroviral therapy (ART) with sustained viral suppression. [...] It has also become evident that when a person living with HIV is on ART, takes their medications consistently as prescribed and maintains a confirmed suppressed viral load, there is effectively no risk of their passing the infection on to their sex partners.”
Scott Tod, North Bay's Police Chief, says the service is dedicated to educating its members on the realities of HIV and ending the stigma against individuals who are HIV+.
“By taking part in the U=U Campaign, we will be able to provide educational information to our members from the World Health Organization, U.S. Centres for Disease Control, and the Government of Canada that helps us better serve all members of our community in a fair and equitable manner,” said Tod in the release.
Jason Maclennan, Communications Director for North Bay Pride believes this is what progressive policing looks like.
“It is learning and adapting to meet the needs of all communities in their district," said Jason Maclennan.
"As far as I am aware, this is the first police service in North America to take part in the U=U campaign. I am glad to see North Bay is a leader on this issue."
"The AIDS Committee of North Bay & Area is proud to hear that NBPS has endorsed the science behind U=U,” said Stacey Mayhall, Executive Director of the AIDS Committee of North Bay and Area.
“I appreciate the leadership demonstrated by Chief Scott Tod on this important issue, and his expressed commitment to treating everyone with the 'respect and dignity they deserve as a human being'. I am proud to be a member of this community."