Every year we gather across the globe for Worlds AIDS Day. This year’s Ottawa event, planned by the AIDS Committee of Ottawa (ACO), featured a ceremony on Parliament Hill followed by a reception at the National Arts Centre. It also had an exiting and monumental moment: the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Canada’s Minister of Health, officially endorsed the Undetectable = Untransmittable (U=U) campaign.
Khaled Salam, ACO’s Executive Director, said in his speech, “Saturday, December 1st, #WorldAIDSDay 2018, on the steps of Parliament Hill in Ottawa will be frozen in time, and some day, maybe months or more likely years later, we will look back and see it as a turning point and a game changer in our collective fight to put an end to the driving factor behind new HIV infections, barriers to testing, starting treatment – HIV Stigma”.
While a great deal of work remains to be done, we now have over 800 organizations from 97 countries endorsing the U=U statement… and now the Canadian government, as well. This is a truly the start of a new era for people impacted by HIV.