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December 2, 2008

2.3-Million Funding Boost to Address Sexually Transmitted Infections Provincewide: Irvin-Ross

Ongoing Annual Investment to Strengthen Prevention, Treatment for STIs Including HIV/AIDS

The province is providing more than $2.3 million in new annual funding to strengthen work across Manitoba to address sexually transmitted infections including HIV, Healthy Living Minister Kerri Irvin-Ross announced yesterday.

"Every case of HIV that is prevented means we reduce illness in individuals, but we also need to invest in the care, treatment and support of people already living with this disease," said Irvin-Ross. "Today, on World AIDS Day, I'm pleased to announce that we are reconfirming our commitment to this issue and supporting the regions with increased annual funding to step up the fight against HIV/AIDS."

Each regional health authority will use the funding to support initiatives in their region which can include:

  • increasing access to sexual and reproductive health services;

  • increasing public health staffing;

  • developing public awareness and education resources;

  • developing targeted services for groups which are seriously affected by HIV and other sexually transmitted infections; and

  • improving disease surveillance, research and evaluation related to HIV and sexually transmitted infections.

The minister noted the province has continued to provide ongoing funding to develop the Manitoba HIV program and improve the care available to those living with HIV infection.

"We have hired a dedicated HIV pharmacist who provides expert advice to health practitioners in the treatment of HIV, keeping people healthier, longer," said Milton Sussman, chief operating officer and vice-president of community health services for the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority. "The program has also hired outreach workers who help co-ordinate care and access to services for people living with HIV."

"It's important for people to take precautions to stay healthy and reduce their risk of a sexually transmitted infection," said Irvin-Ross. "I want to remind Manitobans to take steps to keep themselves safe and to reduce their risk of contracting a sexually transmitted infection."

Yesterday's announcement builds on other initiatives to address sexually transmitted infections including:

  • investing $1.3 million over two years to create the Manitoba HIV program, reduce the spread of sexually transmitted infections and promote improved sexual health; improve the management of HIV care, treatment and support; build sexual health awareness; and reduce the adverse effects of sexually transmitted infections; and

  • creating the Minister's Advisory Committee on Sexual Health to collect and share evidence, information and knowledge to guide current work and help identify priorities for the future.

- Source: Mantioba Health

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