Premier Welcomes World AIDS Leaders To Ontario
Toronto Hosts 20,000 At 16th International AIDS Conference
Premier Dalton McGuinty today welcomed over 20,000 delegates from around the world to Ontario at the opening ceremony for the 16th International AIDS Conference.
"Since the world first heard of AIDS, it has killed 25 million people -- twice the population of Ontario," said Premier McGuinty. "So the theme for this conference could not be more appropriate: it is time to deliver."
This year, the Ontario government is spending $54 million on HIV-related research, care, treatment, prevention and support services, including $3.25 million for ongoing HIV prevention programs.
Since 2004, the Ministry of Research and Innovation has invested $1.6 million in HIV/AIDS research and funded MaRS, which will host several events during the conference.
Toronto is hosting the International AIDS Conference from August 13 to 16. The conference is one of the most important gatherings for sharing knowledge on key scientific developments in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Scientists, physicians, health care and community workers from around the world will participate in the conference.
The theme of this year's conference is "Time To Deliver." The conference will emphasize past and present commitments for actions on HIV/AIDS and demand accountability for those promises.
"We're all affected by the devastating nature of HIV and AIDS," said Minister of Health and Long-Term Care George Smitherman. "We're committed to preventing the spread of HIV and preserving the lives of Ontarians living with HIV and AIDS."
The Ontario government provided $1.5 million in funding over the past two years to support the operations and volunteer management of the conference.
The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care provided funding to 441 researchers, health care workers and people living with HIV/AIDS in Ontario so they could attend the conference.
Supporting the International AIDS Conference is just one of the ways the McGuinty government is working on the side of Ontarians concerned about their health. Other initiatives include:
- Supporting the Ontario HIV Treatment Network, a community-based research organization
- Expanding the Anonymous HIV Testing Program, the first in Canada
- Providing HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment strategies for priority populations in Ontario who are most at risk of HIV/AIDS.
"It is my hope that we can use this time together to talk, learn and, most importantly, renew our commitment as researchers, leaders, health care workers and people living with HIV/AIDS to continue our fight against HIV/AIDS," said Premier McGuinty.