For the last 15 years, funding for HIV has stagnated at around $73 million per year. This falls far short of the value recommended by the House of Commons’ Standing Committee on Health—first in 2003, and again in 2019. This group, made up of MPs from all the political parties, has now twice recommended that $100 million be spent yearly on the federal government’s response to HIV in Canada.
I urge our members and allied organizations to lend their support to HIVfunding.ca, a national campaign, which PAN is proud to be a part of, calling on the federal government to increase funding for HIV. With Canada hosting the International AIDS Conference next month, now is a critical time to highlight that the federal government is not on track to reach 95-95-95 UNAIDS goals by 2030. In fact, we have fallen behind other G7 countries.
Community Support is Essential
PAN members and other community-based organizations are a vital part of Canada’s HIV/AIDS response. Without adequate funding to deliver HIV/AIDS, STBBI and harm reduction services, Canada will continue to see rising rates of HIV and AIDS.
Sadly, since federal funding was last increased in 2008, the number of people living with HIV in Canada has increased 25%. And we know that HIV is a health equity issue. More than half of people living with HIV in Canada are among gay, bi and queer men. Black, Indigenous and racialized Canadians are disproportionately impacted by new HIV cases. Not to mention, funding for hepatitis C, and other STBBIs in Canada is also woefully inadequate. As Canada continues to lose ground, these inequities worsen .
For the past three years, PAN has been working alongside and leading with 16 other organizations across Canada – and together the National Advocates have repeatedly brought forward our shared concerns to the Minister of Health and the leadership of the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC)– most recently at a meeting on June 1st. We were keenly disappointed that there was no new funding announcement.
Take Action Now!
Our main ask of community is that people join us and sign a letter to the Minister of Health and their MP today. And we have made it really easy to do so!
We are asking all PAN member organization and the others that work with us, to please promote this campaign with your clients, members and across your communities. Together, with your help, we will flood the Minister of Health and MPs with letters ahead of AIDS 2022!
Want more information?
If you want to learn more more about this campaign, and how easy it is to get involved, we are holding a webinar on June 23rd at 10 AM Pacific time. You can meet some of the people living with HIV, activists and other leaders directly involved with this campaign, and how easy it is to add your voice to ours. Register here.
Questions? Feedback? Get in touch! J. Evin Jones, Executive Director, [email protected]