On behalf of our CANFAR family we wish to ask you a very important question.
If there was a simple test you could take at home to tell you if you had COVID-19, would you take it? The answer is likely yes. Knowledge would empower you to seek medical attention, if necessary.
The same is true for HIV: It is critical that everyone living with HIV know their status, be connected to care, and be prescribed medications to suppress the virus so that they can live a healthy life.
The time has come for HIV. Later this year, new HIV self-testing kits will become available in Canada. This new tool in the fight against HIV will allow Canadians to test whenever, wherever and with whomever they prefer, and learn about their HIV status within minutes. We are dedicating our CANFAR Summer fundraising campaign to help make these self-testing kits available to those who need them most.
This is important because 14% of people living with HIV in Canada do not know their status, and these individuals are thought to be the unknowing source of approximately 40% to 50% of all new cases. Access to testing is the only way to ensure they are connected to care.
HIV is now a preventable infection, yet the number of new cases continues to climb with over 63,000 people living with HIV in Canada. It’s estimated that six people newly acquire HIV each day – that’s nearly one person affected every four hours. Simply put, we need to end this epidemic.
The take home message here is exactly the same as for this current pandemic. For both COVID-19 and HIV/AIDS, an increase in testing will lead to increased diagnoses. Ultimately, this will lead to increased measures to prevent further transmission for the health of everyone in Canada. That’s why CANFAR is embarking on a national awareness and fundraising campaign to make HIV self-testing kits available across Canada to communities most disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS, including African/Caribbean and Black people, Indigenous people and gay/bi men who have sex with men.
Now I have another question for you. Will you help us change people’s lives by getting these tests into as many hands as possible across Canada? We need to raise $800,000, which will purchase 40,000 tests.
Please give generously below.