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World AIDS Day, December 1, 2011: “It takes the whole community to support change!”

For Immediate Release

Ottawa, ON (November 30, 2011) December 1 is World AIDS Day and the beginning of Aboriginal AIDS Awareness Week in Canada. On this day, and during the week of December 1-5, 2011, people across the country will be participating in activities to promote AIDS awareness. Pauktuutit is co-hosting the national launch of Aboriginal AIDS Awareness Week with the Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network (CAAN) in Ottawa. Other scheduled speakers include the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health and National Chief Shawn Atleo of the Assembly of First Nations.Ms. Sheutiapik will be addressing the Inuit HIV and AIDS public awareness journey since the first Inuit case of infection became known in the 1980s, where we are today, and priorities for the short and medium term future. Topics for discussion by participants at the one-day event include youth, women, risk reduction and research.

Sheutiapik noted “We all need to know about HIV/AIDS. Traditionally, Inuit are survivors. As a community, we have always known challenges and found a way forward. HIV is a new challenge in our landscape, but we can decide how to educate ourselves and our children about HIV.” She continued to say that “We can name the HIV risks in our community and teach ourselves- elders, adults, youth, children – about ways to prevent infection and support people living with HIV.”

Pauktuutit has been active in HIV and AIDS prevention and awareness since the early 1990s. It launched the nationally and internationally recognized „Lifesavers‟ Inuit-specific health promotion campaign that featured country food flavoured condom covers. The range of education and awareness materials developed during this time continue to be effective tools across the Arctic, but continued innovative activities to reach youth and others are still required. This year Pauktuutit will host the Tukisiviit Health Literacy Forum that will address the need for consistent HIV and AIDS terminology in Inuktitut dialects.

The Aboriginal AIDS Awareness Week launch is open to the public, and will be held December 1 from 10 am to 3 pm at:
Residence Inn by Marriott Ottawa,
161 Laurier Avenue West
Ottawa, ON

-30-

Contact:

Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada
1-800-667-0749
[email protected]
www.pauktuutit.ca

Poster – English

Poster_Inuit – English and Inuktitut

Agenda – English PDF