Prime Minister Trudeau delivers a speech on World AIDS Day
Thank you, Khaled.
Thank you for being here today, and for all the hard work you and the AIDS Committee of Ottawa do every day to support our community.
I also want to thank the Minister of Health, Jane Philpott, and my new special advisor on LGBTQ2 issues, Randy Boissonneault. Thank you for joining me.
Jane is working hard to ensure that our government does its part to help protect and support all those who are living with HIV/AIDS.
On World AIDS Day, we remember those who have lost their lives.
We remember our sisters and our brothers. The people we knew and loved.
It is in their memory that we commit to doing better.
Here at home, that means reaching the 90-90-90 targets, and that is what the Minister will be talking about later today.
Internationally, it means stepping up and being a part of bigger initiatives like the Global Fund, which is helping to provide antiretroviral treatment to millions of people around the world.
And it means, for many of us, being aware of and taking care of, our own sexual health. Getting tested for HIV is quick and easy, and an essential step in helping to limit the spread of HIV/AIDS. I encourage every Canadian to get tested.
Finally, we all have a responsibility to do what we can – here in Ottawa and in every Canadian community – to remove the stigma and discrimination around HIV/AIDS.
Not so long ago, the reflex was to point the finger at people, marginalize them and say, “HIV/AIDS only affects certain at-risk populations. Or other people. It doesn’t affect me.”
Well, we now know that it is simply not true. In Canada, HIV/AIDS is a major issue in cities, rural areas and remote communities—and everywhere else.
And that is one of the reasons I wanted to be here today.
Because I hope that by coming together at moments like this, we can shine a light on the fact that HIV/AIDS are with us all, and that living healthy lives post-diagnosis is possible.
I hope that together we can extend our compassion and kindness to everyone who is affected – not only those we have lost, but also those who are still living, including families.
Men, women and trans persons who deserve to be respected. And who, like all of us, want only to acknowledged, and included, and supported … and loved.
With that, I’d like to welcome others to join me in raising the World AIDS Day flag.