Next week is Aboriginal AIDS Awareness Week and the Saskatoon Tribal Council held a press conference this morning to talk about the organization’s own HIV/AIDS reduction program.

STC’s Saskatoon HIV/AIDS Reduction Program has exchanged one million needles in the past year.

This compares with about 40,000 needles collected across the rest of the health region.

STC Chief Felix Thomas says one of the things the SHARP program tries to do is reduce the stigma and myths surrounding HIV/AIDS through public education.

“We provide the service here to educate the people that are getting the service but also to the general public,” he says. “There is still two things we need to do is educate them and reduce the stigma that AIDS has in the last couple of decades.”

The SHARP program has been in existence since 2008.

Monday is also World AIDS Day.