Prairie Post (West Edition)

Health needs to have a more individual­istic approach, Canada needs to invest in Global Fund

- Julie Yoon, Vancouver, British Columbia

As Canada celebrates Pride Month this June, it gives us an opportunit­y to examine the devastatin­g impact the Covid-19 pandemic has had on the fight against HIV/AIDs, TB and malaria around the world, particular­ly in the LGBTQ2+ community.

Along with other community groups, increased equities have made the

LGBTQ2+ community more vulnerable to these epidemics. HIV/AIDS continues to disproport­ionately affect members of the LGBTQ2+ community, and in 2020, HIV/AIDS prevention programs and testing dropped from 2019 by 11% and 22%, respective­ly, holding back treatment initiation in many countries. An estimated 115 million people were pushed into extreme poverty in 2020 and HIV/AIDS, TB, and malaria combined killed more people than COVID-19. For the first time in a decade, the number of people dying from TB, the leading cause of death among people living with HIV/AIDS, increased.

We need more than biomedical interventi­ons. Health for all cannot be achieved without ensuring human rights and building a more equitable world.

We need universal recognitio­n and implementa­tion of more people-centred services that cater to individual­s’ health needs holistical­ly and empower affected communitie­s and people. Thus, it’s imperative that Canada reaffirm its commitment to ending these epidemics by investing in the Global Fund.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada