Canada lawmakers consider boosting HIV/AIDS spending

By Advocate.com Editors

Originally published on Advocate.com March 20 2003 12:00 AM ET

The Canadian House of Commons Health Committee on Monday heard testimony from AIDS advocates who say that the Canadian HIV/AIDS Strategy, which has been flat-funded since 1992, is failing to meet the needs of the growing number of HIV-positive people in the country, the Toronto Star reports. The government provides $42.2 million per year for HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment, and research, but the number of HIV-positive people in Canada has climbed from fewer than 30,000 in 1992 to more than 54,000 today. AIDS activists are calling for the funding to be increased to $85 million per year. "This epidemic is far from under control, it is moving relentlessly in vulnerable populations, and we are very far from having a cure," said Martin Schecter of the Canadian HIV Trials Network. "We've struggled through the past 11 years with a flat budget, and the cracks are really beginning to show." A vote by the committee on boosting HIV/AIDS funding is expected later this month.