Every year, on December 1, people around the world commemorate World AIDS Day. Unifor recognizes this day to remember those who lost their lives to AIDS, but to also recognize the importance of prevention of this epidemic and support for people living with HIV.
This year’s World AIDS Day comes in the midst of another global epidemic.
The public health response to these epidemics shows us how health is linked with class, human rights, gender, race, and other critical issues.
Unifor echoes the theme of UNAIDS in recognizing World AIDS Day 2020 as a day for Global solidarity, shared responsibility.
“COVID-19 has demonstrated that, during a pandemic, no one is safe until everyone is safe. Leaving people behind is not an option if we are to succeed. Eliminating stigma and discrimination, putting people at the centre and grounding our responses in human rights and gender-responsive approaches are key to ending the colliding pandemics of HIV and COVID-19.”
The COVID-19 pandemic quickly revealed deep cracks in our societies and communities. These cracks are causing the poorest and most vulnerable members of our communities to see the hardest hits from the pandemic.
The lessons that we have learned so far in 2020, of shared responsibility, community building, and care and compassion, can be applied to our ongoing task of ending the AIDS epidemic that persists globally.
New HIV infections in Canada occur disproportionately among men who have sex with men and Indigenous people.
While COVID-19 rages on, Unifor recognizes that the pandemic is threatening access to HIV prevention, testing, treatment and care. Canada must be ready to introduce new public health measures to prevent an HIV resurgence, and to continue to protect and support people living with HIV through early treatment and universal pharmacare.