Mp Anne Minh-Thu Quach Marks World Aids Day

VALLEYFIELD — As World Aids Day approaches, New Democrat MP Anne Minh-Thu Quach (Beauharnois--Salaberry) wishes to mark 30 years of efforts on behalf of all those involved, researchers and donors devoted to the cause, as well as the courage of those suffering from this disease.

"It's an opportunity to acknowledge the vital work of organizations like COCQ-SIDA and the Canadian AIDS Society raising awareness of the dangers associated with this devastating disease as well preventing it from spreading," said the New Democrat MP in the House of Commons.

Celebrated each year on December 1, World Aids Day seeks to raise awareness of HIV/AIDS, promote prevention and treatments, and fight the discrimination against those with the disease. This date also marks the 25th anniversary of the Canadian AIDS Society, which works in collaboration with various local organizations to coordinate the fight against the disease.

"I commend the ongoing efforts of all the health professionals and community organizations working to prevent AIDS among youth in particular and the population in general, especially by promoting healthy sexual practices. I would like to highlight the vital work of the Émiss-ère community organization in this fight against HIV-AIDS, whose actions cover the whole of Montérégie," said Quach.  

In Quebec alone, the Ministry of Health and Social Services estimates 700 new infections per year. Although AIDS remains an omnipresent and potentially fatal disease, the life expectancy of people infected has greatly improved thanks to the work of many researchers who have made important scientific advances. “The progress is encouraging. We must not lose hope,” Quach said.

But local organizations from the riding of Beauharnois--Salaberry are uncertain about their funding, which ends next March 31. A very short letter from the federal government was received by many organizations across Canada, promising further information on an eventual call for proposals, a less than reassuring pledge.

"Prevention and awareness organizations need a lot of support," said Dany Morin, Associate Critic for LGBT Issues. "They need adequate, stable funding, with allocation mechanisms that don't generate an excessive administrative burden."