A message from Laurie Edmiston, executive director, CATIE:
As we head into World AIDS Day, I am today asking for your assistance in taking a step that could help to greatly enhance our country’s response to HIV.
You may have heard about the Canadian Consensus Statement on the Health and Prevention Benefits of HIV Antiretroviral Medications and HIV Testing. Essentially, the Canadian Consensus Statement, or CCS (for short), declares the importance of certain principles and approaches that promote greater integration and innovation in policy and programs to better support people throughout the continuum of HIV prevention and treatment.
We, the organizing committee – CATIE, CTAC and PositiveLite.com – consulted various communities across Canada over a 20-month period for their input. The resultant Statement reflects those insights. We strongly believe that people working in the HIV response, in many capacities, will want to endorse it.
We trust that you will be one of those people signing on.
If you have already done so, thank you and please pass this letter along to those in your network.
You can read the full CCS and sign on to it at www.hivconsensusvih.ca, but to provide a few highlights, the principles identified include:
promoting the health, well-being and human rights of people living with HIV;
removing barriers to HIV treatment access;
providing access to a range of HIV testing options and service delivery approaches; and
increasing access to PrEP and PEP.
Not only is the CCS a declaration of held principles, but a resource that provides tips and language you can use to raise awareness in your local community about its principles, and bring community health and other service providers together to coordinate services.
The success of Canada's HIV response depends on you!
We are at a crucial moment in the HIV epidemic in Canada. We have witnessed significant medical advances in HIV treatment and prevention. But some of Canada’s communities continue to be disproportionately affected by the HIV epidemic, and continue to experience inequality that negatively impacts their access to health and social services. The CCS can guide our responses to the HIV epidemic as we move from what is known (evidence and experience) to what else needs to be done (action in the form of policies, programs, services and research).
The CCS is not a mandatory directive, but a voluntary statement which I trust you will heartily endorse.
I urge you to join me in signing on.
Thank you, and all respectful acknowledgements for World AIDS Day,
Executive Director, CATIE
P.S: Please share this letter with others