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CUPE Nova Scotia President Danny Cavanagh is urging the union’s 18,000 members and their families to mark World Aids Day today by taking leadership on the issue.

Cavanagh says, “This year’s campaign is about ‘Getting to Zero’ - zero new HIV infections; zero discrimination; zero AIDS related deaths.

The good news,” says Cavanagh, “is that a joint United Nations program on HIV/AIDS reports that HIV infections are decreasing and more people have access to life-prolonging drugs.”

The report shows that 2.7 million people were newly infected with HIV in 2010 - a reduction of 21 per cent since 1997 - while some 6.6 million people now have access to life-prolonging anti-retroviral drugs, an increase of 1.35 million since 2009.

Says Cavanagh, “CUPE has for many years been calling on rich countries like Canada to lead the fight against the pandemic by fully funding the Global Fund for AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and supporting poor countries to build their health systems, including recruitment, training and retention of more health workers.”

Cavanagh says, “On this, World Aids Day, we call on CUPE members and locals to take leadership on HIV/AIDS in the union. Take action by speaking out, participating in education about HIV/AIDS, advocating on behalf of all women, men and children with AIDS or who have been affected by HIV/AIDS.”

For information:

Danny Cavanagh     
CUPE N.S. President    
(902) 957-0822 (Cell)   

John McCracken
CUPE Communications Representative
(902) 455-4180 (o)