December 1 – World AIDS Day

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As another World AIDS Day approaches on December 1, HIV/AIDS remains one of the most tragic, unresolved crises in the world – despite more than 25 years of campaigns, activism, research, education and high-profile promises.

Because of the lack of action and political will, the Canadian Labour Congress – along with many local, national and international organizations – is pressing governments to make good on past commitments and fully address prevention, treatment and eradication of the disease.

Our own federal government has deserted the field in the middle of the battle, says Hassan Yussuf, secretary-treasurer of the CLC. As a result, we are at risk of losing valuable ground in our fight against HIV/AIDS.

For years, Canadian workers and their unions have been on the frontlines of the fight to prevent the spread of the disease, to protect affected workers against discrimination and unemployment and to help develop strategies to make medical treatment accessible.

At times, we have been able to count on the government to accompany our efforts. However, the [Canadian] government’s continuous withdrawal from these issues over the last year could end up defeating all we’ve accomplished.

HEU secretary-business manager Judy Darcy says the union has long supported HIV/AIDS education and fundraising efforts, and encourages members and locals to join the CLC’s call for action.

The federal government needs to hear from workers across the country that conquering HIV/AIDS in Canada and abroad is a priority,says Darcy. Please take a few minutes this week to call, write or email your Member of Parliament and tell your representative that you want Canada to live up to our commitments to help eradicate HIV/AIDS.

November 29, 2006