The Ontario AIDS Network is very concerned about Canada’s commitment to fighting AIDS at home and internationally. The Federal Initiative on HIV/AIDS provides $72.6 million in funding annually to Canada’s domestic and foreign response to HIV/AIDS.

Included in this envelope of funding is the Public Health Agency of Canada’s Regional AIDS Community Action Program (ACAP), which provides $13.3 million worth of funding to community-based AIDS service organizations across Canada each year. These are the funding dollars within the Federal Initiative that are dedicated to supporting the ongoing work of HIV prevention, education and support on the front lines in your community.

The federal government has a key leadership role to play in the struggle against HIV. This includes, as stated in the Federal Initiative, supporting “a strong community-based and non-governmental response,” which has been central to the epidemic throughout its history.

In Ontario the amount of AIDS Community Action program funding is approximately $4 million annually. Ontario accounted for the highest proportion of cases in 2009, comprising 41.9% of all positive HIV tests reported to the Public Health Agency of Canada.

The current AIDS Community Action Program funding agreements will expire across Canada on March 31, 2012. Since June 6, 2011, the Ontario AIDS Network and many other organizations across Canada have been asking Minister of Health Aglukkaq what her intentions are regarding the future of the Federal Initiative and this vital community funding. (attached)
We have yet to receive a response.

Recent estimates indicate that each new HIV infection represents $750,000 in direct and indirect costs over a lifetime. Preventing 6 new infections in Ontario each year would more than recover the investment in your community. On World AIDS Day, December 1, 2011 its time to tell your Member of Parliament that our lives are worth the investment.

Read the Global News article on Federal funding for HIV services in limob