News release

Province Marks HIV-AIDS Awareness Week and World AIDS Day

People who are living with, or who have died from HIV-AIDS are being honoured as part of HIV-AIDS Awareness Week and World AIDS Day on Tuesday, Dec. 1.

A red-ribbon flag was raised by Health and Wellness Minister Leo Glavine during a public ceremony at Province House in Halifax, today, Nov. 24.

This year marks the 27th annual World AIDS Day under the global theme of Getting to Zero. The campaign focuses on the goals of zero new infections, zero discrimination, and zero AIDS-related deaths.

"While much progress has been made, new HIV infections continue to be diagnosed in Nova Scotia and across Canada," says Health and Wellness Minister Leo Glavine. "HIV-related stigma and discrimination continue to discourage people from being tested and seeking the care they need."

People and populations who are unfairly discriminated against and/or stigmatized and have higher rates of HIV-AIDS in Canada include people who:

  • use drugs
  • are incarcerated
  • are Indigenous (e.g., First Nations, Metis, Inuit)
  • are African, Caribbean and Black

In 2011, it was estimated that about 25 per cent of the 71,300 Canadians living with HIV did not know they were infected. Early testing and treatment are key to a longer life expectancy for those affected and also help prevent the spread of new cases.

Looking at how to improve access to HIV screening is part of the Nova Scotia Advisory Commission on AIDS' response to a review of Nova Scotia's Strategy on HIV-AIDS.

"Despite advances in prevention and treatment, more work is needed to increase early screening and diagnosis services," says Michelle Proctor-Simms, director of the Nova Scotia Advisory Commission on AIDS. "We are looking at new opportunities and innovations to improve access to HIV testing, as well as for other sexually transmitted infections."

Since 1985, there have been 811 diagnosed cases of HIV in Nova Scotia.

The commission advises government on HIV-AIDS issues and helps carry out the provincial HIV-AIDS strategy.

For a full list of HIV-AIDS Awareness Week and World AIDS day events across the province, visit www.novascotia.ca/AIDS .

FOR BROADCAST USE:

The red-ribbon flag commemorating HIV-AIDS Awareness Week and World AIDS Day was raised by Health and Wellness Minister Leo Glavine during a public ceremony at Province House in Halifax today (November 24th).

Mr. Glavine says HIV-related stigma and discrimination continue to discourage people from being tested and seeking the care they need.

For a full list of events during the week, visit nova scotia dot C-A slash aids.

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Media Contacts:

Michelle Proctor-Simms
Nova Scotia Advisory Commission on AIDS 902-424-4741 Email:
Tony Kiritsis
Department of Health and Wellness 902-424-0585 Email: