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Manitoba invests in community projects to support World AIDS Day

Health Minister Uzoma Asagwara made the announcement on Friday. Health Minister Uzoma Asagwara made the announcement on Friday.
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The Manitoba government is making nearly $800,000 in community investments to help stop the rising rates of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections (STBBI).

Health Minister Uzoma Asagwara made the announcement on Friday, which is also World Aids Day, saying many Manitobans face barriers when it comes to HIV care, including poverty, stigma and discrimination.

“Folks are struggling to get the care that they need and that they deserve,” Asagwara said at a news conference on Friday.

“We know that we have to do better by people in our province. We must work together to eliminate these barriers and support Manitobans living with HIV-AIDS. We know it’s possible but we also know it’s going to take a multi-system, integrated approach.”

To mark World AIDS Day, the province is supporting projects to improve access to HIV prevention and intervention in Manitoba.

This includes $527,000 for Manitoba HIV Program initiatives, including the creation of infrastructure to help launch the Program to Access Treatment for HIV and Support (PATHS). This program would help provide outreach services and intensive case management for those with HIV who are not connected to care.

The province also announced it is investing $271,000 for a mobile care service run by the Aboriginal Health and Wellness Centre. This project will help to provide Indigenous-led HIV and STBBI care for those experiencing homelessness.

“There are so many people across our province who’ve taken on important work for Manitobans living with HIV,” Asagwara said.

“Our government is committed to supporting that incredibly important work.”

The province is also honouring the legacy of Dr. Dick Smith – a pioneer in HIV-AIDS treatment and education -- by asking Research Manitoba to create the Dr. John Richard (Dick) Middleton Smith Postdoctoral Fellowship in HIV-AIDS research. This award will be open to applicants in February.

The dome of the Manitoba Legislative Building will be lit in red on Friday to mark World AIDS Day.

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