Press Release: Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network Heads to South Africa

Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network Heads to South Africa

International Indigenous AIDS Pre-Conference on HIV and AIDS 2016

Vancouver, BC (May 25, 2016) – The Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network (CAAN) will represent Canada this summer as community activists, researchers, doctors and policy-makers from around the world gather in Durban, South Africa for the 6th Annual International Indigenous Pre-Conference on HIV and AIDS (IIPCHA) July 16-17, and the biennial International AIDS Conference (IAC) July 18-22, 2016.

IIPCHA Expected Guests/Speakers:

  • Honourable Canadian Minister of Health, Jane Philpott
  • Provincial Minister of Health KwaZulu-Natal, Dr. Sibongiseni Maxwell Dhlomo
  • Mayor of Durban, James Nxumalo
  • Deputy Executive Director of UNAIDS, Dr. Luiz Loures

This AIDS 2016 affiliated pre-conference is an opportunity for Indigenous peoples to share wise and promising practices, learn from each other and build relationships across continents, cultures, traditions, and languages. 2016 highlights Indigenous peoples from Southern Africa to explore Indigeneity in Africa and HIV in their communities.

For over two decades, CAAN has held a prestigious leadership role with the International Working Group on HIV and AIDS (IIWGHA) that will be hosting IIPCHA followed by their participation at the Indigenous Networking Zone in the IAC Global Village.

“South Africa plays an important role as the host country because it is experiencing the biggest HIV epidemic in the world with 6.19 million people living with HIV. And as in Canada its Indigenous population is over-represented,” said Ken Clement, CEO of Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network. “In Canada, First Nations, Métis, and Inuit continue to experiencing epidemic proportions 2.7 times higher than other Canadians.”

IIPCHA will host the world premiere of CAAN’s new documentary, “Nothing About Us, Without us – Promising Practices in Saskatchewan First Nation Communities”. The film highlights Indigenous communities in rural Saskatchewan that are experiencing HIV and AIDS rates among highest in the world, and with innovative, culturally appropriate practices are taking ownership of their health and addressing the epidemic.

Indigenous and non-Indigenous are invited to come together in Durban, South Africa to celebrate, strategize and network on an Indigenous led response to HIV AIDS.

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For over two decades Indigenous peoples and leaders around the world have worked together to form the International Indigenous Working Group on HIV & AIDS to build a unified voice for Indigenous peoples in collective action against HIV and AIDS by creating partnerships with governments, Indigenous leaders, research bodies, and AIDS organizations. IIWGHA provides Indigenous leaders an outlet for sharing, exchanging, and gaining experiences and knowledge on HIV and AIDS to promote hope and change within their own communities.

About CAAN
The Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network (CAAN) is a not-for-profit
 coalition of individuals and organizations which provides leadership, support and advocacy for Aboriginal individuals living with and affected by HIV and AIDS, regardless of where 
they reside. Their philosophy is that all Aboriginal Peoples deserve the right to protect themselves against infectious disease and thrives on providing the Aboriginal community with accurate and current information about HIV including risks of contracting the virus, issues of care and treatment, and support for families and those living with the disease.

Media Contact:
Shelley Mantei, Mediatonic PR