Celebration a time for aboriginal AIDS awareness

Aboriginal Awareness Week was celebrated at the Dr. Peter AIDSFoundation yesterday with distinguished guests and a traditionalaboriginal feast.

Aboriginal Awareness Week was celebrated at the Dr. Peter AIDS Foundation yesterday with distinguished guests and a traditional aboriginal feast.

According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, aboriginal people are disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS. Almost 50 per cent of residents at the Dr. Peter Centre are of aboriginal descent.

Charles Abel Thompson, one of the centre’s residents, spoke of his experience discovering he was HIV-positive.

“It led me to almost committing suicide the night after I talked it over with my doctor,” Thompson said.

“If you have that communicable disease, it’s a no-turning-back kind of thing. (But) hanging around with elders made me feel good, like a family, and they helped me through it.”

Chief Bobby Joseph talked about some of the ongoing struggles that First Nation communities face.

“It’s the alcohol abuse and sharing of needles. On the reservation there is little hope,” Joseph said.

 
 
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