November 29, 2006 15:00 ET

COCQ-SIDA: Women...All Are Concerned by HIV/AIDS!

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(CCNMatthews - Nov. 29, 2006) - On this World AIDS Day, the Women's Committee of the Coalition des organismes communautaires quebecois de lutte contre le sida (COCQ-Sida) wants to reach out to all women in Quebec.

Esther emphasizes that "in the minds of too many people, HIV and AIDS are associated with people and practices that are considered marginal. The consequence of this association is that, too often, we women feel sheltered from risk and not at all touched by HIV/AIDS." However... according to the Institut national de sante publique du Quebec(1):

- Women represent nearly one-quarter (23%) of people living with
HIV/AIDS in Quebec, in the period from 2002 through 2005;

- Of these, 37% are young women aged between 20 and 34 years;

- In 2005, 32% of new HIV infections among women were among young
women aged between 20 and 34 years.

Jeanne reminds us that "it may only take one time, one moment where, for all sorts of reasons, we decide not to insist on the use of a condom... Even one time... it could happen to any of us. And that, in the same way as we take the risk, sometimes, of crossing the street on a red light or driving a little too fast. These are calculated risks...we think! We need to ask ourselves if this risk is worth it, knowing that all women, whatever their sexual orientation, their background, their age or their nationality, are at risk of contracting HIV."

We remind you that we are unique and that we need to give ourselves the right and the means to protect ourselves. HIV does not discriminate. Neither does risk. Let's protect ourselves because risk will not. We are all women. Together, let's show our solidarity.

(1) Institut national de sante publique du Quebec, Programme de surveillance de l'infection par le virus de l'immunodeficience humaine (VIH) au Quebec. Cas cumulatifs 2002 - 2005, Quebec, September 2006

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