December 12th, 2018

NDP: Liberals Must Act to Reduce the Rates of New HIV Infections

OTTAWA – On Wednesday, NDP LGBTQ2+ Critic Randall Garrison (Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke) asked the Prime Minister why his government has cut funding to many frontline HIV/AIDS organizations and failed to increase access to testing when the number of new infections in Canada is continuing to rise.

“Given that other jurisdictions like the UK and New South Wales have achieved dramatic decreases of 30 to 40% in new infections, I am calling for immediate and concrete action from this government,” said Garrison. “In Canada, new infections are up dramatically among young gay men and have reached epidemic proportions among Indigenous people.”

Since the key to reducing new infections is people knowing their HIV status, Garrison asked the Prime Minister, “Will the Liberal government move quickly to approve home testing kits for sale in pharmacies to help reach men who have sex with men and work with the provinces to ensure testing is available without needing to see a doctor first?”

“If Canada would take the low-cost steps of making home testing kits available, eliminating the need to see doctors to get tested, and making PrEP readily available to high risk populations then we might actually be able to meet Canada’s commitment to the Joint United Nations HIV/AIDS Programme 90-90-90 goals,” added Garrison. “The UN Program believes that achieving 90% of people living with HIV knowing their status, having 90% in treatment, and having 90% with viral suppression provides a realistic path to ending the AIDS epidemic and the eradication of AIDS.”