CAHR 2014 – Richard Elliot of the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network to deliver the Mark Wainberg Lecture

Leading human rights advocate to deliver opening Mark Wainberg Lecture at Canada’s national AIDS conference

Ottawa (April 1, 2014) – The Canadian Association for HIV Research (CAHR) announced today that Richard Elliott has been selected as the 2014 Mark Wainberg Lecturer. Each year, at CAHR’s national conference on HIV research, the lecture honours Dr. Wainberg’s ongoing contributions to fighting HIV/AIDS and to recognize the efforts of others who exemplify the same traits of excellence, perseverance, and commitment to the cause of finding innovative and groundbreaking ways to address the epidemic.

Richard Elliott is the Executive Director for the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, Canada’s leading advocacy organization working, domestically and internationally, on the legal and human rights issues raised by HIV and AIDS. Mr. Elliott is an internationally renowned advocate and activist in this field, having worked on both the frontlines and in numerous advisory roles throughout his career. He has delivered legal services to low-income people living with HIV, been counsel in key HIV cases before the Canadian courts, and advised the federal government, UN agencies and the Global Commission on HIV and the Law.  He is a founding member of the Global Treatment Access Group, and spearheaded the civil society advocacy campaign for access to medicines for those needlessly suffering and dying without treatment in developing countries.

Mr. Elliott’s 2014 lecture, entitled “Evidence + Principle: Science and scientists as critical enablers of human rights and public health,” will explore the critical role of evidence, and the researchers who generate it, in influencing public policy in the HIV response.

”I am honoured to deliver the Wainberg Lecture,” said Mr. Elliott. “As Dr. Wainberg’s own work attests, HIV researchers and human rights advocates need to work together – particularly as both evidence and human rights are all too often disregarded when public policy is made.  It is only through such collaboration that we can successfully achieve and implement sound, ethical public policies for HIV prevention and treatment.”

On behalf of entire 2014 CAHR Conference Scientific Planning Committee, we congratulate Richard on this award,” said 2014 Conference co-chairs Drs. Michael Grant and Debbie Kelly, from Memorial University.  “This award is our way of thanking Richard and the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network for their continuing advocacy of social justice and evidence-based policies in Canada.”

It is estimated that 34 million people are living with AIDS, including 2.3 million children;  most live in sub-Saharan Africa. In Canada, HIV remains a pressing issue with an estimated 2300 to 4300 new infections each year, with certain populations over-represented in the epidemic.  In Canada, over 70,000 Canadians are living with HIV, and many more are at risk of being infected.


About CAHR
The Canadian Association for HIV Research (CAHR) is the professional organization for HIV/AIDS research in Canada and by Canadians. CAHR is composed of researchers in all disciplines of HIV/AIDS science, for the purpose of improving prevention and treatment with an ultimate goal of eradication and cure. The annual CAHR conference is the premier gathering in Canada for those working in the field of HIV, as well as policy makers, persons living with HIV and other individuals committed to ending the pandemic.


About the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network
The Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network ( promotes the human rights of people living with and vulnerable to HIV/AIDS, in Canada and internationally, through research and analysis, advocacy and litigation, public education and community mobilization. The Legal Network is Canada’s leading advocacy organization working on the legal and human rights issues raised by HIV/AIDS


For more information
The 2014 Mark Wainberg Lecture will be given at the official opening of the 2014 CAHR Conference – May 1st at 17:30 at the Delta St. John’s.

To arrange for interviews with Richard Elliott, please contact Janet Butler-McPhee at: 416 595 1666 (ext. 228)