Madam Speaker, I rise to recognize December 1st as World AIDS Day.
World AIDS Day serves to strengthen the global effort to face the challenges of AIDS and shine a light of understanding and awareness on the issue.
According to the United Nations programme on AIDS, 1.6 million people worldwide died of AIDS-related illnesses in 2012 and an estimated 35.3 million people around the world were living with HIV. It’s estimated more than 71,000 Canadians are living with HIV.
World AIDS Day has been recognized in Prince Edward Island since 1991 with the establishment of the AIDS PEI Community Support Group Inc.
AIDS PEI’s mission is to create supportive environments for persons living with HIV/AIDS, to increase public understanding of the impact of HIV/AIDS, and to reduce the incidence of HIV/AIDS in Prince Edward Island.
The organization has worked diligently to support their mission and provides a needle exchange service, safe sex product distribution, health maintenance, information workshops and various other supports for people living with HIV/AIDS.
I would like to commend the staff, executive director, Alana Leard and the board of directors of AIDS PEI for their commitment and tireless efforts to support those affected by HIV/AIDS.
On Sunday, an open house will be held at AIDS PEI Community Support Group Inc at 375 University Avenue, Unit 2, Midtown Plaza.
The open house will take place from 2 to 4 p.m. and refreshments and snacks will be served. I would encourage Islanders to attend the open house and recognize this year’s theme: Getting to Zero. Zero new HIV infections. Zero discrimination. And zero AIDS-related deaths.