A National Aids Strategy

By Tessa Blaikie Whitecloud
June 17, 2015

Just as Joey mentioned in yesterday’s post, the work is not done for equality. Whether that is for those experiencing homophobia, or those experiencing illness! Here at 1JustCity we love to hear of great advocates, hard work and stories of success from those who are working for Justice in Winnipeg and all around! Bob was in touch because he needs you to sign a petition! Or better yet, to take on putting forward a petition from Manitoba to get a national aids strategy. Bob is also living a success story as he is an HIV positive man, living stigma free and with free medication. So here’s a note from Bob! 

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Hi my name is Bob; I am living with HIV in a small town in rural B.C., the only province in Canada to implement the Treatment as Prevention (TasP) Strategy for combating this virus.

TasP is an ambitious, all encompassing approach with an end goal of reaching all people infected and providing medications (when the patient is willing). This reduces the amount of virus in the body to undetectable levels thus making its transmission almost impossible. Greatly reducing new infections.

The experience for me as a patient, is that I get to receive treatment at home via local pharmacy, through a community of health care providers who have education and support which reduces stigma, I feel no fear from any medical resources I access. Being on treatment improves my quality of life and extends it.

Zero stigma is in fact a goal of the TasP Strategy because it’s been identified as the major barrier to testing and accessing treatment. The goal is to eliminate stigma at the community level, making patients more comfortable in approaching the needed services.

I am an individual living openly positive with no fear of stigma, which is a personal choice. Living openly positive is not necessary to access and receive the benefits of care.

The Southern Gulf Islands Aids Society, our local little AIDS Service Organization, spearheaded this petition. It is awesome to be accepted and supported, knowing everyone is aware of my HIV status. The pay off being that I feel enabled to advocate for others living with HIV, which we have done as a group via our Petition for a National Aids Strategy, using the TasP approach.

The major benefit of TasP I experience is having FREE medications. When one is ready and chooses to start the treatments they are made available at the local level. This is what I want for any Canadian who has been diagnosed with HIV!

Please sign our Petition, help to expand this level of care for ALL Canadians who want it…  cheers Bob.

Right now you can sign the petition here




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