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Government Failing To Support Women In Fight Against AIDS

Government Failing To Support Women In Fight Against AIDS

Canada currently lacks the political will to do what it takes to protect women, transwomen and girls from contracting HIV/AIDS, according to a report card put out by the Coalition for a Blueprint for Action on Women and Girls and HIV/AIDS.

The failure is especially apparent in First Nations populations. While Aboriginals only make up three percent of the Canadian population, then make up 10 percent of the population of Canadians affected by HIV/AIDS.

The Coalition points out that Canada is a resource rich, developed country that should be able to provide everything that women need to educate and protect themselves against the virus. They gave the Canadian government poor grades in several areas including diagnosis, treatment, prevention and education.They particularly focused on funding cuts and laws that are moving counter to what evidence shows as necessary to address the AIDS epidemic in the female population.

Funding cuts have affected the Canadian Human Rights Commission, agencies that focus on women’s health and specifically Aboriginal women’s health, and the National Association for Women and the Law.

Confronted by the Coalition’s report card, the government ignored their evidence. The Health Minister declared that this government has invested in front-line health services.

Louise Binder, a lawyer diagnosed with HIV in 1994 who co-founded the Coalition, told the CBC that young women should not continue to be infected at rates they’ve seen in Canada in a country that should be able to provide education and resources.

“It is primarily happening because of federal government laws and policies that actually hurt women and do not protect them from infection,” she said. “For instance the government has recently cut the Aboriginal health funding so that Aboriginal populations that take up really up to 10 percent of new infections and more than half of them were women, will not have the health services they did.”

Binder also pointed to the refugee health care cuts the government is currently trying to push through, which will affect women coming into the country already infected with the virus. The government will not provide any of their medications which could cause the disease to progress.

Sadly, it is unlikely that this government will pay any attention to the report card.

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Photo Credit: Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada

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17 comments

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11:57PM PDT on Sep 18, 2012

This is so sad. Women need this support.

1:10AM PDT on Sep 3, 2012

Canada has a very poor record of protecting native women and girls.

8:54AM PDT on Aug 30, 2012

Why am I not surprised?

3:54PM PDT on Aug 19, 2012

Right wing, conservative government. What else can you expect?

8:07AM PDT on Aug 18, 2012

Gee, Steve R. Maybe if politicians started going after men's issues we might see some articles from that perspective. Ya think?

And just maybe if politicians STOPPED attempting to curtail women's programs, we might not see articles like this? (cuz, you know - there would be no need to write 'em...?)

4:30PM PDT on Aug 17, 2012

Canada used to be a civilized country before the Tories got their hands on it.

12:17PM PDT on Aug 17, 2012

Same thing going on in america.

11:16AM PDT on Aug 17, 2012

And what about the men........?

Or has Care2 become just another feminist platform?

9:14AM PDT on Aug 17, 2012

Robert P - Are you saying then that at present there are 15 - 30 million people deprived of health care in a so called civilised society? ... because of high costs of health care , insufficient, full spectrum accounting of the real population numbers and facilities required?

7:32AM PDT on Aug 17, 2012

Karen L says: "If you ask for an appointment for a medical checkup in August and the doctor schedules it for February, you can understand that the government is really not very active for any health rights!"

Well, that's exactly what it will be like here beginning in 2014 when Obamacare cuts in and the heath system is faced with 15-30 million new patents and no new doctors or hospitals. And even the existing hospitals will go under when all they are getting from the government is 50% of the actual cost of treating patients.

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