Unionists from around the world have had in depth discussions this week about their role in the fight against HIV AIDS at the international labour delegation in Japan.
Yesterday morning CUPE staff, Corina Crawley, provided an in depth report and analysis to the group and a number of important visitors including the director of Japan’s office of the International Labour Organization, JTUC-RENGO (Japan’s largest trade union central) and JILAF staff.
Today, a symposium was held on HIV AIDS and Work that was open to the public. Attendeed hung on every word of presentations from each of the JILAF participants. CUPE participated in a panel discussion focussing on questions that were gathered from the audience.
Terrific discussion followed both events with delegates sharing experiences from their countries and Japanese participants had many questions about how to help and how to apply lessons in their own country.
The Japanese HIV/AIDS situation is not as dire as in some countries (estimates of reported cases vary from several thousand to several hundred thousand). But the numbers are increasing at a rapid pace - three times faster than the world average.
It is notable that is the numbers of infected women in Japan are 5 times higher than among men. This parallels the reality around the world, including in Canada, that increases in HIV infection rates have been highest among heterosexual women and other marginalized groups in recent years.