In Canada, Aboriginal people represent about 3% of the country’s population, while the HIV infection rate among Aboriginal people accounts for approximately 5% to 8 % of HIV cases reported in Canada.
With the high rates of poverty and substance abuse in many Aboriginal communities, coupled with discrimination and stigma and the legacy of colonialism and human rights abuses and a significant loss of culture, the Aboriginal communities are confronted with many of the social factors linked to being at risk for HIV transmission.
Aboriginal communities address HIV within the context of these broader issues and through a holistic approach embraced by diverse Aboriginal culture.
The Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network (CAAN) is the national organization responsible for addressing HIV issues within these communities. CAS participates in CAAN-led initiatives, providing support and information to its members when needed.