CANADIAN AIDS TREATMENT INFORMATION EXCHANGE

June 17, 2005 11:28 ET

art posi+ive: New National HIV/AIDS Awareness Campaign, Launched By Canadian AIDS Treatment Information Exchange (CATIE)

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - June 17, 2005) -

art posi+ive Issues 'Call for Inspiration' on the Eve of the CATIE Annual Conference, Delta Hotel, Ottawa, June 20-21

CATIE will unveil artposi+ive, a collaboration with Canadian artists living with HIV, which will connect Canadians to important HIV health and treatment information. The first art posi+ive forum will convene on Sunday, June 19th, featuring paintings from artists James Huctwith and Morgan McConnell, who through their artwork share their insights, challenges and hopes about life with HIV.

"Each person living with HIV has a different experience to share. It is our hope that through artposi+ive, these very personal and individual experiences will be better understood and appreciated by all Canadians," said Laurie Edmiston, Executive Director, CATIE.

To launch art posi+ive, CATIE is also officially issuing the first national 'Call for Inspiration,' to Canadian artists living with HIV. Submissions of painting, photography, sculpture or mixed media should be accompanied by an artist's statement and a description of the HIV-related themes articulated in the composition. art posi+ive will accept electronic entries through August 31, 2005 for consideration in the first of three forums to be conducted throughout Canada during the next 12 months. Artists should email submissions to artpositive@catie.ca

According to the recent statistics published by the Public Health Agency of Canada, more than 56,000 Canadians were estimated to be living with HIV in 2004, representing a 12 percent increase since 1999. Of these individuals, 30 percent or approximately 17,000 people are unaware of their HIV infection. As more antiretroviral medications have become available for the treatment of HIV infection, most people seeking HIV treatment, are living longer, healthier lives. Yet, with the complex demands of chronic anti-HIV therapy, the need increases among people living with HIV for high-quality health and treatment education.

The goal of art posi+ive is to increase participation of HIV positive people in activities that enrich quality of life and provide much needed information to support well-informed health care choices. The campaign is one more way to communicate the personal experience of living with HIV, stimulate dialogue and increase awareness regarding treatment and prevention of HIV/AIDS.

Paintings by artists James Huctwith and Morgan McConnell will be on exhibit Sunday, June 19th at the Mercury Lounge, located at 56 Byward Street, Ottawa. The artposi+ive program will begin at 5:00 p.m. For directions and hours, call 1-613-789-5324 or visit www.mercurylounge.net.

CATIE is a national, non-profit organization committed to providing free, current and confidential treatment information for all Canadians living with or affected by HIV/AIDS. CATIE provides information services for people living with the virus as well as for their families, care providers, AIDS Service Organizations and Health Care Intermediaries. It does so through a comprehensive web site, three electronic mailing lists, various print publications and a bilingual, toll-free phone service. By providing the latest and most complete information available, CATIE enables people with HIV/AIDS to become actively involved in developing strategies to optimize their health care.

art posi+ive is a partnership between CATIE and Gilead Sciences Canada. The national program is supported with funding from Gilead.

Gilead Sciences Canada is a biopharmaceutical company that discovers, develops and commercializes innovative therapeutics in areas of unmet medical need. The company's mission is to advance the care of patients suffering from life-threatening diseases worldwide. International headquarters are in Foster City, California, with Canadian operations based in Vancouver and Mississauga. Gilead also has operations in Europe and Australia.

The Mercury Lounge has been an important venue for the arts in Canada's capital city of Ottawa, since its inception in November 1996. It serves as an art gallery and live venue for poetry readings, dance performances, and a club. It is located at 56 Byward Market, Ottawa, Ontario.

EDITORS' NOTES:

art posi+ive Call for Inspiration. Canadian artists living with HIV may send electronic submissions to artposi+ive by addressing an email to artpositive@catie.ca Submissions should be made before August 31, 2005 for consideration in art posi+ive forums to be conducted during 2005.

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