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Canadian Aboriginals and HIV/AIDS Essay

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The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and its deriving acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) are devastating conditions that currently affect approximately 35.3 million individuals globally (WHO, 2012). In the Canadian context, the prevalence of HIV/AIDS ascended to 71,300 cases in 2011, with 8.9% of the affected individuals being aboriginal peoples (PHAC, 2011). This number not only indicates an overrepresentation of the aboriginal population among the totality of HIV/AIDS cases in the country, but it also illustrates an elevated incidence of 17.3% from the numbers reported in 2008 (PHAC, 2011). The aforementioned statistics were here exposed with the intent of recognizing the incidence and prevalence of HIV/AIDS, as alarming public health issues superimposed on the already vulnerable segment of the Canadian population that is the aboriginal community. Accordingly, the purpose of this paper is to gradually examine the multiple determinants and factors contributing to such problem as well as some of the possible actions that can ameliorate it.
Social, Historical, Economic and Political Factors
A reasonable way of understanding why aboriginal people in Canada are at a higher risk of contracting HIV/AIDS is to go back in time and revisit a few historical events that left an indelible mark on this population. To exemplify, colonialism, the 1876 Indian Act and the establishment of residential schools and Indian reserves, resulted in the loss of physical territory, cultural values and had a demoralizing and traumatizing effect on the indigenous peoples of Canada that extends to this date (Reading & Wien, 2009). Also deriving from colonization, were the losses of self-determination, power of voice and decision making as well...


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...rvreport/estimat2011-eng.php
Public Health Agency of Canada. (2012). Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion: An International
Conference on Health Promotion. Retrieved 14/03/16 from:
http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/ph-sp/docs/charter-chartre/index-eng.php
Reading, C. L. and Wien, F. (2009) Health Inequalities and Social Determinants of Aboriginal
Peoples’ Health. National Collaborating Centre for Aboriginal Health. Retrieved 14/03/06
from: http://www.ahf.ca/downloads/hivaids-report.pdf
Statistics Canada. Aboriginal peoples in Canada in 2006: Inuit, Métis and First Nations, 2006–
findings. Ottawa: Statistics Canada; 2008. Retrieved 14/03/09 from:
http://www12.statcan.ca/english/census06/analysis/aboriginal/index.cfm
World Health Organization (2012). HIV/AIDS, Retrieved 14/03/08 from:
http://www.who.int/hiv/en/







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