May 13, 2022
The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, MP
Minister of Health, Government of Canada
House of Commons
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6
Dear Minister Duclos,
On July 29, Canada will open and host the AIDS 2022 conference – bringing the world together to accelerate the global fight to end HIV and AIDS.
As you know, other G7 countries are making very significant progress in ending new case of HIV and in reaching the UNAIDS 95-95-95 targets. Canada has the means and expertise necessary to get there as well.
We would like to meet with you in advance of the conference to discuss the opportunity for Canada to showcase its work and present a clear path to ending new cases of HIV. We are confident that this can be achieved by 2025 with a clearly defined and focused action plan. This would involve a national leadership task force with a clear mandate, timeline and accountability to decision-makers and community stakeholders for the coordination, implementation and scale-up of strategic actions to achieve our end goals. More specifically, it would involve the following initiatives:
1. Public health education campaigns to raise awareness about the importance of HIV testing and for persons to “know their status”, as well campaigns to reduce HIV stigma and the structural barriers in health inequities which continue to exist and limit access to care and treatment for those who are the most vulnerable and marginalized;
2. Establishment of quarterly projections and a scorecard that will track and openly communicate the progress to reach the 95-95-95 cascade targets for all key populations affected;
3. Action plans to implement and scale-up the HIV testing modalities needed to reach the undiagnosed, and to ensure the equitable access to treatment for those diagnosed who are not connected to care with culturally appropriate care pathways that people can access in their communities;
4. Universal coverage and free access to antiretroviral treatment for persons who are diagnosed with HIV and for those in need for prevention (Pre-exposure prophylaxis or PrEP) to stay HIV negative.
With your government’s support, these are concrete actions that we can take and share with the conference’s global audience. By doing so, we can show the world our resolve that all Canadians will have the necessary education and access to the testing they need, and the treatment and services they need to achieve viral suppression to live into old age while not transmitting the virus to their sexual partners.
When you open the AIDS 2022 conference on July 29, we want Canada to stand out as a country that has taken a leadership role in ending HIV. This is the last chapter that is being written, and we want to support your government’s efforts on this.
We are looking forward to the opportunity to meet with you to discuss further. We have a delegation of four people who are ready to meet with you.
We will contact your office to determine what timing may be possible.
Christopher Bunting, Deputy Chair, CANFAR Board of Directors
Kayla DeMong, Executive Director, Prairie Harm Reduction
Laurie Edmiston, Executive Director, CATIE
Scott Elliott, Executive Director, Dr. Peter Centre
J. Evin Jones, LLB, Executive Director, PAN
Margaret Kîsikâw Piyêsîs, CEO, Communities, Alliances & Networks
Michael Kwag, Acting Executive Director, Community-Based Research Centre
Notisha Massaquoi, Assistant Professor, Department of Health and Society, University of Toronto
Scarborough, CANFAR Board Member
Albert McLeod, LLD, President, 2Spirit Consultants of Manitoba
Ken Monteith, Executive Director, COCQ-SIDA, AIDS 2022 Organizing Committee Member
Mike Payne, Executive Director, Nine Circles Community Health Centre
Andrew Pringle, CM, Chair, CANFAR Board of Directors
Sean B. Rourke, PhD, FCAHS, Scientist, MAP Centre for Urban Health Solutions, St. Michael’s Hospital
Shannon Ryan, Executive Director, Ontario AIDS Network
Trevor Stratton, Indigenous Leadership Policy Manager, Communities, Alliances & Networks
Wangari Tharao, Director of Research and Programs, Women’s Health in Women’s Hands Community
Julie Thomas, Executive Director, Healing Our Nations
Gerard Yetman, Executive Director, AIDS Committee of Newfoundland and Labrador