While the COVID-19 pandemic continues across the world, another health crisis remains in Saskatchewan.
Saskatchewan has the highest rate of HIV in Canada – more than twice the national average – and injection drug use is the largest source of HIV infection in our province.
Saskatchewan must do more to combat the stigma associated with addictions and HIV – that means ensuring proper education, regular HIV testing, and support for treatment is accessible.
Treatments have come a long way and if used successfully, a person can no longer transmit HIV to anyone else. Treatment for this crisis also includes harm reduction; it not only saves lives but also lessens the strain on our provincial health care system.
As a union with many health care and addictions workers, SEIU-West understands that the need to take action is urgent. We encourage you to write your MLA about the need for improved support for those with HIV – you can also visit the Saskatchewan Union of Nurse’s campaign about the effects of HIV here: https://makingthedifference.ca/hiv