Kicking off on World AIDS Day, Aboriginal AIDS Awareness Week runs from December 1-5. Although the need to address HIV/AIDS is year-round, these five days give us a boost in increasing awareness and knowledge, helping us to challenge the current state of HIV/AIDS stigma and discrimination within Indigenous communities.
As discussed at Summit 2020, PrEP is an extremely useful and successful prevention tool for HIV—yet only a small number of our Indigenous community members have actually been able to access this revolutionary prevention strategy. This needs to change.
CBRC acknowledges that we—along with other health focused community organizations—have failed to include Indigenous peoples in our previous PrEP education and resources. This is why we are calling for more HIV organizations and service providers to join us in promoting and supporting PrEP access for Indigenous peoples to address this massive failure.
And Aboriginal AIDS Awareness Week is the time to start!
With CBRC’s new digital poster (PrEP is a Pill That Can Prevent HIV!), we hope to increase awareness of PrEP among Indigenous folks, and address the common misconception that PrEP is a “white gay thing.” We encourage you to check out the poster and distribute it as widely as possible.
With the guidance of our community Elders, CBRC continues to create resources that centre Indigenous voices and ensure that we are part of the HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention story moving forward. No longer will we tolerate being an afterthought and no longer will we stand by as life-saving preventative treatments are rolled out for privileged communities, while others are left behind.
As a Certified Sexual Health Registered Nurse and CBRC’s Two-Spirit Program Manager, breaking down this historic exclusionary practice is my top priority. Creating culturally-tailored resources is a key piece of the puzzle to support further health education and autonomy. The purpose of this new digital poster is to draw attention to PrEP and PrEP coverage for Indigenous peoples in Canada, including full coverage for all Indigenous peoples in BC.
Please help us in getting the word out to our Indigenous communities.
Written By: Jessy Dame RN (c), MSN (In progress), BScN
Indigenous Two-Spirit Program Manager
This blog was originally posted on the CBRC website
Community-Based Research Centre (CBRC) promotes the health of gay men through research and intervention development. We are inclusive of bisexual and queer men (cis and trans) and Two Spirit people