Who we are
Created in 1986, the Canadian AIDS Society (CAS) is a national voice for people living with HIV/AIDS and represents our members at the national level. We are a movement built at the grassroots level and we are proud of those roots. We are devoted to the idea of people working together with a certain knowledge that the stakes have never been higher and the humble notion that we can work together to dramatically change the outcomes of HIV in Canada.
What we do
CAS represents community-based HIV/AIDS organizations across the country. Our objective is to strengthen the response to HIV/AIDS in Canada and enrich the lives of people and communities living with, and affected by, HIV/AIDS.
How we do it
We accomplish this by:
- promoting education and awareness
- mobilizing communities
- advocating at the federal public policy level
- providing information and resources
Why we do it
In the early 1980s, news outlets began speaking of a mysterious, new and terrible disease for which there was no cure and which seemed to infect mostly gay males. The cause was unknown and it usually resulted in a slow, lingering and horrible death. In no time at all we were facing an epidemic that seemed frighteningly out of control.
Throughout the 1980s and ‘90s caring men and women across the country mobilized to respond to the challenge – creating community-based organizations along the way. CAS itself was created in 1986 with 16 original member AIDS service organizations.
Today much progress has been made. We know that HIV is the virus that causes AIDS. And while there is still no cure or vaccine, people living with HIV in Canada have access to medication that can significantly increase both the length and the quality of their lives.
CAS and our member community-based organizations across the country can take pride in the progress we have made over the years. But none of us can rest on our laurels.
While we can take some comfort in the fact that new HIV cases are on the decline, the overall number of people living with HIV continues to rise. This is because new HIV infections continue to occur and people with HIV are living longer due to medical advances in treatment.
An estimated 75,500 people in Canada are living with HIV. This is more than ever before, and more than 1 in 5 of them don’t even know it. Unfortunately, stigma and discrimination remain as significant impediments for people to get tested and know their HIV status – both of which are key obstacles to the ultimate eradication of HIV transmission.
We passionately believe in the potential for a Canada where HIV transmission would be relegated to the past and we support the UNAIDS visionary goal to end the AIDS epidemic worldwide by 2030.
You can help us achieve those goals.
Click here to Donate to our cause
Charitable Registration Number: 120863311 RR0001
Today the HIV movement is at a crossroads. Living with HIV is no longer what it was and the issues surrounding living with HIV are evolving rapidly. New challenges are emerging; as people live longer, they face greater risks of co-morbidities, aging challenges and adjusting to new prognoses.
Further, the populations most at risk of contracting HIV and co-infectious Sexually-Transmitted and Blood-Bourne Infections (STBBIs) are also shifting quite dramatically.
It’s time for new approaches … new strategies … and new collaborations.
At CAS, we believe that times of change can also be times of opportunities; yet any strategy for the future must be strongly grounded in the strength of our past.
Click here to read our Strategic Plan 2016-2021