Voices for World AIDS Day
UNITING CANADIANS FOR WORLD AIDS DAY
In 1988, the first World AIDS Day was held on December 1 st. CANFAR had just been founded a year prior, and was already working on their mission of funding HIV research and increasing awareness.
CANFAR founders realized research was needed to understand the disease, how it was transmitted, how it acted in the body, and how to begin treating the virus. They recognized there was a very large void to fill relating to all aspects of AIDS.
People were barely talking about AIDS in the public realm at this time, and HIV didn’t even exist as a diagnosis. AIDS was, for the most part, a death sentence 30 years ago.
Today, World AIDS Day celebrates community engagement across Canada, with the goals of collaboration, erasing stigma, and raising funds for services affecting people living with HIV.
Dr. Eric Hoskins, OC MSC MPP, Minister of Health and Long-term Care, welcomed CANFAR to the Ontario Legislature on World AIDS Day. Representative from all parties wore red ribbons to mark this solemn occasion.
On Dec. 1, the country united in solidarity to remember those we have lost to AIDS. Canadians joined together in support of the 75,500 individuals living with the HIV. The Voices for World AIDS Day’s social media campaign, in partnership with eight other Canadian AIDS Service Organizations, created over 517,000 online impressions.