The Canadian AIDS Society is Seeking Leaders

Mon Dec 1, 2008 8:02am EST

* Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release.

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

    "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.

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

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