Vancouver's Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network to cohost Indigenous HIV conference in Amsterdam

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      A local Indigenous health organization will be cohosting a conference on HIV and AIDS that will be held in the Netherlands this weekend but will be can be viewed by British Columbians online.

      Vancouver's Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network (CAAN) and the International Indigenous Working Group on HIV and AIDS (IIWGHA) are cohosting the 7th annual International Indigenous Pre-Conference on HIV and AIDS on Saturday and Sunday (July 21 and 22) as well as the Indigenous Peoples Networking Zone at the International AIDS Conference to be held from July 23 to 27 in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

      B.C. audiences will be able to watch many of the talks with live-streaming on Facebook at the conference webpage.

      Discussions, featuring international speakers, will cover subjects such as harm-reduction regimens, leadership advocacy, Hepatitis C, stigma and discrimination, and more. The program will also feature clinical-case presentations, cultural exchanges, and panel discussions.

      This year's theme focuses on uniting Indigenous people from around the world.

      "This year’s event will challenge attendees to build bridges that ignite leadership, science and community partnerships to advocate for Indigenous Peoples and to empower Indigenous people to lead," IIWGHA Co-Chair Canada Ken Clement stated in a news release. "Our aim is that with the meaningful engagement of Indigenous Peoples we will get the world working together—not only to address HIV in Indigenous communities, but also to serve our critical role in closing global target gaps.”

      Clement had told the Georgia Straight in a November 2017 interview that CAAN, which he is the executive director of, is facing challenges as $400,000, or 40 percent of their funding, had been cut by the federal government, effective as of April 1 of this year.

      More information about the pre-conference is available at the IIWGHA website.