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The Canadian AIDS Society believes that the Government of Canada has a responsibility to respond to the growing Hepatitis C (HCV) epidemic in Canada now.
The Canadian AIDS Society feels that the current Hepatitis C epidemic requires a Strategy that ensures a coordinated, integrated and multi-level approach by all governments in Canada that will be in place until the Hepatitis C epidemic is under control.
In September 1998 the Government of Canada declared their commitment to preventing the further spread of Hepatitis C and to the treatment and care of people living with the disease. Along with this commitment came an allotment of $50 million over five years for hepatitis C prevention, community-based support and research. This funding was intended to allow short-term goals to be met and set the ground work for long-term results.
We are now well into the last year of funding for the Hepatitis C Program. However, there has been no indication from the Government of Canada as to how it plans to continue to support people living with HCV or to ensure continued and improved efforts to prevent the further spread of this disease.
This issue calls for a coordinated, integrated and multi-level approach by all governments. Our federal government needs to display leadership on this issue and ensure that the programs and services that have been developed across this country are sustained and improved upon. Community-based organizations have been providing services to people infected with or affected by Hepatitis C for the past five years. These organizations have been stretched to their limits and beyond in order to provide the necessary services while staying within the financial limits established by the Government of Canada in 1998.
They are now facing an uncertain future accompanied by an ever growing number of clients. It is unacceptable to see community-based organizations that have come to be relied upon having to close their doors, end their programs, or work towards the inevitable closures of those programs and services.
Position Statement: Hepatitis C Strategy
Hepatitis C Strategy (May 2003). © Canadian AIDS Society. Published 07/27/2007. Updated 02/28/2010. Web. Retrieved 05/25/2013 from http://www.cdnaids.ca/hepatitiscstrategymay2003