ABORIGINAL WOMEN HIV/AIDS INFECTION RATE TOO HIGH: HUGHES

ABORIGINAL WOMEN HIV/AIDS INFECTION RATE TOO HIGH: HUGHES

OTTAWA – On the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day, Algoma Manitoulin-Kapuskasing MP, Carol Hughes questioned the government on its inadequate response to the inflated HIV/AIDS infection rate among aboriginal women.

Singling out the government commitment to improve the conditions of aboriginal women and children in last week’s throne speech, Hughes pointed to the rate of HIV/AIDS infection as a good place to start.

“When it comes to HIV/AIDS the infection rate for Aboriginal women is running ahead of Canadian averages and increasing,” stated Hughes.

The rate should be no surprise for the government. Studies dating back to 2003 show the rate of infection for aboriginal women running well ahead of that of non-aboriginal women.
“Aboriginal women are overrepresented in the Canadian epidemic,” said Hughes. “To bring this number down requires money and political will.”

Although the number of deaths has fallen dramatically since the early days of the epidemic, it still requires considerable resources to pay for HIV treatment. A two pronged approach would be necessary to both stem the spread of the disease and pay to treat those who have become infected.

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