December 01, 2008 08:00 ET

The Canadian AIDS Society is Seeking Leaders

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec. 1, 2008) - Building on the leadership theme for the 2008 global World AIDS Day campaign, this year the Canadian AIDS Society is challenging all Canadians to be a leader and play a role in stopping HIV/AIDS in Canada. Hosting its inaugural World AIDS Day Gala, CAS is also formally recognizing Canadian leadership in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

In a campaign targeting all Canadians, CAS poses the question: Are you positive you're not positive? Monique Doolittle-Romas, Canadian AIDS Society Executive Director explains, "Even on this, the 20th anniversary of World AIDS Day, too many Canadians take HIV for granted, thinking it will never affect them. We think it already does."

With 58,000 Canadians living with HIV/AIDS and almost 27% of them unaware of their HIV status, it's important to be proactive and take steps on an individual basis to create awareness that HIV/AIDS touches all of our communities. The campaign invites Canadians to create dialogue about HIV/AIDS by directing them to a web site featuring a free and interactive on-line HIV risk quiz.

"The quiz is intended to get people talking about their HIV risk and their vulnerabilities," added Doolittle-Romas, "It's a good way to learn about HIV and some of the social factors that make us at risk for transmission." The creative concept for the campaign and the HIV Risk Quiz site were created by McMillan to help generate ongoing dialogue with the creation of an on-line community.

Gerry McConnery, CAS Board Chair says, "Using new media to generate awareness of HIV is a departure from what we've done in the past. With the potential to reach a wider audience of internet users, we hope the campaign will resonate with new audiences, reminding each one of us that the biggest risk is complacency."

In commemoration of the 20th anniversary of World AIDS Day, on December 1 at 6:00 pm, CAS will also be hosting its Inaugural World AIDS Day Gala, a fundraising event in support of the organization's work. The event is sponsored by Corby Distilleries, Pfizer, Gilead, Tibotec, Delta Hotels and Suites, Canada's Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies, Abbott, GlaxoSmithKline in partnership with Shire Canada and Roy Elliott O'Connor LLP.

"For the first time-ever, we're holding a fundraiser that will assemble leaders in HIV/AIDS in Canada," stated Doolittle-Romas, "It's important for us to acknowledge our leaders, both those within and outside of the movement, while raising much-needed funds for our work, which helps support community AIDS service organizations across the country." The program for the evening will include cocktails, dinner, award presentations and a live auction. Dr. Mark Wainberg, Director of Research at the Jewish General Hospital will be featured as guest speaker.

Leadership is everyone's responsibility. We all have a role to play in preventing HIV and AIDS in Canada and the Canadian AIDS Society calls on you to step up and be a leader. Visit the CAS website at, or our campaign site at:

Canadian AIDS Society

The Canadian AIDS Society is a national coalition of over 125 community-based AIDS organizations from across Canada. Dedicated to strengthening the response to HIV/AIDS across all sectors of society, we also work to enrich the lives of people and communities living with HIV/AIDS. We accomplish this by advocating on behalf of people and communities affected by HIV/AIDS, facilitating the development of programs, services and resources for our member groups, and providing a national framework for community-based participation in Canada's response to AIDS.

Contact Information

  • Canadian AIDS Society
    Tricia Diduch
    Communications Consultant
    613-230-3580 (130)