The Vice-President of the Metis Nation of Saskatchewan says the provincial HIV strategy is not working.
Gerald Morin, who is living with HIV, made the comments at the opening of an aids conference in Regina.
“Because unless we’re consulted and unless we’re involved with respect to the solutions and unless we’re involved from beginning to end that strategy is not going to be effective especially when most of the new infections are with our own people.”
Saskatchewan has the highest HIV infection rate in Canada and about 80% of the cases are in the aboriginal community.
Doctor Johnmark Opondo is the team leader on the provincial HIV strategy.
He says the team went to extraordinary lengths to get input from the aboriginal community.
He also says it’s vital that people make sure they get tested.
To engage them tomorrow morning — new numbers on the HIV infection rate in Saskatchewan will be released at the conference.
They are expected to show a jump of more than 10%.
Doctor George Carson is concerned because many people, including many sex trade workers are not even getting tested.
“And where there are infected providers there may be permanently-uninfected purchasers who tend to be more affluent.”
The leading cause of new infections in Saskatchewan is intravenous drug use.