Governor General of Canada

Governor General of Canada

November 30, 2009 08:07 ET

Message from Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaelle Jean, Governor General of Canada, on the occasion of World AIDS Day

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 30, 2009) - The theme of this year's World AIDS Day has to do with human rights, in particular, the right to health and the right to live.

We have all witnessed fearful reactions, and even hostile acts born of ignorance, in the face of what was once seen as an obscure and shameful affliction. Since the first cases of AIDS were identified in the early 1980s, myriad awareness and education campaigns have sensitized us of its devastating effects. If we have made undeniable progress in coming to grips with the physical, psychological, economic and societal toll exacted by this disease, we have yet to fully comprehend the rights of those living with HIV, such as universal access to prevention, care and support services.

At this time, I would like to pay tribute to the continued efforts and remarkable work carried out by Canadians lending a helping hand to communities grappling with the various stages of this pandemic and to the people so in need: the women, men and children living with the disease. At times working on a shoestring and through sheer compassion, solidarity, dedication and perseverance, they manage to make all the difference by providing care, comfort and hope to the ill and their families. As we gather today to mark World AIDS Day, let us collectively recognize our obligations in this area, while showing unconditional respect for human rights and personal dignity.

Michaelle Jean

World AIDS Day is on December 1st, 2009.

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