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(May 16, 2018)
REGINA, May 16, 2018 /CNW/ - The Government of Canada is working in partnership with First Nations and Inuit communities to reduce the unacceptably high rates of Sexually Transmitted and Blood Borne Infections (STBBIs).
The Honourable Jane Philpott, Minister of Indigenous Services, today announced $37.5 million in funding over 5 years to support STBBIs programs and services, including HIV and hepatitis C, for First Nations and Inuit communities across the country.
This funding will support priority areas identified by First Nations and Inuit partners. One key priority is improved access to community-based integrated models of care in more communities. These models focus on prevention, improved detection, treatment, as well as awareness programming to reduce stigma to improve patient outcomes and reduce transmission.
Reported rates of HIV and hepatitis C infection in Indigenous communities are significantly higher than in non-Indigenous populations. However, programming like Know Your Status (KYS) in Saskatchewan for example, has proven to be very effective in increasing access to culturally grounded STBBI prevention, testing, follow up and treatment. One aim of these new investments announced today is to expand the Know Your Status services to all First Nations communities in Saskatchewan.
Indigenous Services Canada will continue to engage with First Nations and Inuit partners and organizations, health professionals and community members to identify program and service priorities.
"The primary goal of these investments is to address the disproportionally high rates of Sexually Transmitted and Blood Borne Infections affecting First Nations and Inuit. By working closely with First Nations and Inuit partners and communities, we can strengthen prevention efforts, advance diagnosis and treatment, and reduce the burden of stigma for those living with infections like HIV and hepatitis C."
The Honourable Jane Philpott, M.D., P.C., M.P.
Minister of Indigenous Services
- Budget 2017 included $50.2 million for chronic and infectious diseases, of which includes $37.5 million for Sexually Transmitted and Blood Borne Infections (STBBIs) and $12.7 million for tuberculosis.
- This investment of $37.5 million from Budget 2017 for STBBIs will also support the following priority areas:
- Address Health Human Resource Gaps by expanding the workforce through skills development and training, as well as deployment of mobile healthcare teams delivering care during community visits.
- Access to state of the art technology in treatment and diagnosis (e.g. Dried Blood Spot testing as a diagnostic tool for STBBIs).
- Guide evidence-based decision making by creating tools to define and identify "high incidence communities" for HIV and hepatitis C to enable targeted resource allocation and improve availability of data to support continuous quality improvement.
- Canada strongly supports the UNAIDS 90-90-90 treatment targets, which aim to ensure that 90% of HIV positive people will know their status, that 90% of people who know their status receive treatment, and that 90% of those on treatment have suppressed viral loads.
- In collaboration with First Nations communities, Indigenous Services Canada has supported a growing number of community led "Know Your Status" initiatives, which have been very effective in increasing access to testing, follow up and treatment. We continue working in partnership with First Nations leadership in Saskatchewan, communities and the Province of Saskatchewan to prevent transmission of HIV and to support people affected by and living with HIV, hepatitis C, and other STBBIs.
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SOURCE Indigenous Services Canada
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