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National HIV/AIDS programming for and with aboriginal peoples: canadian lessons learned
S Rhodes1, F Kane1, N Connor1, R Jackson2, L Jónsdóttir1
1Health Canada, Ottawa, Canada; 2The Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network, Ottawa, Canada
Issue: A model for national HIV/AIDS programming for and with Aboriginal peoples was created to respond to the Aboriginal HIV/AIDS epidemic in Canada.
Description: The Aboriginal populations are some of the populations most affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Canada. People who reported as having Aboriginal ancestry in 2001 accounted for 3.3% of the total Canadian population, yet this same population made up 5.5% of all AIDS cases in 2001 and 12.9% in 2002 (where ethnicity was known). Since 1998, Health Canada has allocated (in its third HIV/AIDS strategy) $5.1 million dollars annually through the Canadian Strategy on HIV/AIDS to provide HIV/AIDS prevention, care and treatment services to Aboriginal peoples in Canada. These programmatic and community responses have amassed lessons learned regarding what interventions have worked and what haven’t.
Lessons Learned: 1. Program flexibility is necessary to allow for different approaches for different communities and for population mobility; 2. Continuous consultation and dialogue are vital to direct a national approach and develop mutual trust; 3. Addressing colonization, stigma, discrimination and racism are vital to Aboriginal HIV/AIDS program effectiveness and service use; 4. Indigenous traditional approaches to care, treatment and prevention must be incorporated into an Aboriginal programmatic response to HIV/AIDS that is holistic and culturally sensitive; 5. Jurisdictional policy, funding limitations and legislation have had lasting negative impacts on the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Aboriginal communities; 6. Community-level innovation is essential and must receive appropriate government support.
Recommendations: Governments and Aboriginal communities have much work still to do to be committed, proactive and flexible to ensure that Aboriginal voices are heard and meaningfully incorporated into the HIV/AIDS programming and services that affect them.
The XV International AIDS Conference
Abstract no. E10687
” S Rhodes , , et al. national HIV/AIDS programming for and with aboriginal peoples: canadian lessons learned. CD Only: The XV International AIDS Conference: Abstract no. E10687″