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Today is World AIDS Day

December 1st, 2012

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Today — December 1, 2012 — is World AIDS Day.¬† Let us use this day to remember the lives of the individuals we have lost to HIV and AIDS, be it because of a lack of access to HIV and AIDS-related information, testing procedures, prevention methods, or treatment options; or because of the ongoing stigmatization, criminalization, scapegoating, and mistreatment (including¬† the serophobic harassment, assault, and murder) of people living with HIV/AIDS (or, for that case, of people presumed to be living with HIV/AIDS).
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This includes:

  • People who are unable to access:
    • HIV/AIDS-related information
    • public or private insurance coverage, especially due to
      • insufficient funds (regardless of income) and/or
      • ineligible residency status, and/or
      • a lack of access to employment health benefits
    • health care centres and/or health care professionals — particularly ones that are knowledgeable, respectful, and non-stigmatizing
      .
  • People who are not given timely HIV/AIDS-related information (if at all) because they are presumed to not be at risk of transmission and/or to not be living with HIV/AIDS. Case in point: people who are straight-identified and/or who are currently in a heterosexual relationship
    .
  • Sex workers, especially sex workers who engage clients outdoors
  • Transpeople, particularly transwomen who are sex workers
  • Racialized people, particularly: Black men; Black men presumed to be from Africa; Aboriginal women (both cis and trans); and East and South Asian transwomen
  • First Nations people, especially First Nations women (both cis and trans) and two-spirited people who are sex workers and/or intravenous drug consumers
  • Men who have sex with other men, especially older gay men and men who engage in ‘public’ sex
  • Intravenous drug consumers, particularly individuals who consume heroin.
  • And anyone who lives or embodies any combination of these and other unlisted social positions. (Feel free to contribute to our list).

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For more information about World AIDS Day, and the prevention, transmission, and treatment of HIV (including treatment-as-prevention), we recommend a visit to CATIE’s website at http://www.catie.ca/en/world-aids-day

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Sincerely,
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The Queer Ontario Steering Committee
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