Farha Foundation

Farha Foundation


September 20, 2005 11:56 ET

This Week, 28 People in Quebec Will Become Infected with HIV

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(CCNMatthews - Sept. 20, 2005) -

It could be your mother, sister, cousin, lover, husband, brother, aunt, friend, colleague, uncle, son, daughter, father...

Who Are You Walking For?

Since HIV and AIDS can strike anyone, Quebecers are invited to lace up their running shoes and participate in the WALK FOR LIFE, the annual AIDS walk which takes place Sunday, September 25, rain or shine, under the aegis of the Farha Foundation. Take your place with the walkers at the starting line at 10:00 a.m. at Place du Canada (corner Peel and Rene-Levesque) and make your way through the streets of downtown Montreal with tens of thousands of participants, who come from all across Quebec to raise funds and deliver the message that the fight against AIDS is far from over.

Even though science has made great strides in the battle against the epidemic, the disease is still wreaking havoc, even here in Quebec. A glance at the statistics will tell us that rises in infection rates are not limited to so-called high risk communities:

- heterosexual men infected (1) 2001 4.1% 2003 5.6%
- heterosexual women infected (1) 2001 11.5% 2003 16%

Organizers of the Walk worry about a general lack of interest on the part of the population. "Seeing as how the infection rate is on the rise, the number of participants in this walk should be on the rise too," says the new president of the Farha Foundation, Pierre Mitchell. He adds that "the time is right for all of us to react, because the next case of infection could be your mother, sister, lover, husband, friend, or your child ... HIV/AIDS is preventable with the help of appropriate resources. We therefore encourage Quebec men and women to participate in this annual walk."

For her part, Ms Evelyn Farha, honorary president of the Foundation, says: "With the recent reforms in education in Quebec, sex education courses, including prevention of HIV/AIDS, will no longer be offered as a required course. It is up to the teachers to cover the subject by incorporating it into their courses at their discretion. These decisions worry me enormously when thinking of the future of my grand-children and that of our youth in general."

Since 1992, the Farha Foundation has distributed more than $6.3 million to more than 60 organizations in Quebec to support those living with HIV/AIDS.

It is now possible to sign up and gather donations online, via the Farha Foundation Internet site, at: www.farha.qc.ca

The WALK FOR LIFE is the most important activity during the year for the Farha Foundation, both financially and for awareness of the organization and its 44 partners. Thanks to the help of sponsors, 100% of funds raised goes to partnering organizations, and will be used for the provision of services for people living with HIV/AIDS or living with the effects of the disease. Money will also be used to offer education and prevention programs, which remain the best protection for the public against the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

WHO: The Farha Foundation and 43 benefiting organisations invite
Quebecers to lace up their running shoes!

WHAT: WALK FOR LIFE, fundraiser and Walk for the fight against

WHEN: Sunday, September 25
9am: Pledge Form Return
10pm: Departure

WHERE : Place du Canada, corner Peel et Rene-Levesque


Walk for Life itinerary is available on CCNMatthews' website at the following address: http://www.ccnmatthews.com/docs/MAP0920.jpg

(1) Sources: "Portrait des infections transmissibles sexuellement et par le sang (ITSS), de l'hepatite C, de l'infection par le VIH et du sida au Quebec - Decembre 2003", Pp. 18s

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