On the eve of World AIDS Day, the Ville de Montréal, the Montréal regional public health department and the Table des organismes communautaires montréalais de lutte contre le sida (TOMS) are unveiling their common action plan for Montréal sans sida 2019–2020. Developed in collaboration with the most affected communities, the plan aims to eradicate the epidemic locally and thus participate in the international efforts deployed by numerous cities towards ending the epidemic around the world by 2030.
On December 1, 2017, Mayor Valérie Plante signed the Paris Declaration, making Montréal the first Canadian city to join the international network of Fast-Track cities. By doing so, the city committed to accelerate the fight against HIV/AIDS by putting communities at the heart of its actions and, by 2020, to achieve ambitious objectives:
- Zero new infections
- 90 % of HIV-positive people know their status
- 90% of people who know their status are on antiretroviral therapy
- 90% of people on antiretroviral therapy achieve viral suppression
- Zero discrimination and stigmatization
Montréal is committed
“Montréal is proud to be launching this very first common action plan. The plan’s ambitious objectives will enable us to better work together in the fight against HIV/AIDS and take better care of Montrealers affected by the disease. Over the past year, we have worked collectively and inclusively with our partners as well as with affected people and communities. This is what we must do to make Montréal a city that stands together, in solidarity and AIDS-free!” said Montréal mayor Valérie Plante.
“There are about 10,000 people living with HIV on the island of Montréal. In 2017, over 200 new HIV infections were diagnosed in the city, despite the remarkable progress made in the fight against HIV/AIDS. But we won’t give up. This common action plan targets the most promising actions to remove the last obstacles to ending the epidemic,“ says Dr. Mylène Drouin, regional director of public health for Montréal and co-president of Montréal: Fast-Track City.
“At the heart of this process is recognizing the diverse needs of the communities concerned, especially with regard to discrimination and systemic inequalities that affect Indigenous people, racialized communities, migrants or LGBTQ+ individuals, as well as people living in poverty or who are homeless, young people and those in conflict with the law. Our communities are mobilized and we’re working together to achieve this common action plan,” states Sandra Wesley, TOMS delegate and co-president of Montréal: Fast-Track City.
Response to the worries of the people concerned
The action plan includes about 30 actions that are widely accepted. Community members and groups, caregivers, public health researchers and professionals, as well as the City of Montréal worked together to develop this plan. The actions constitute concrete solutions to the issues faced by concerned communities, and are situated along four strategic intervention areas:
- Reduce stigmatization and discrimination through communication
- Work to eradicate prejudices caused by the enforcement of criminal laws and the judicial control of individuals from marginalized communities
- Improve the living conditions of vulnerable communities
- Implement services that are accessible and adapted to individuals’ needs
Groups more vulnerable to the epidemic
In Montréal, to reach our objectives by 2020, efforts will be aimed at the groups most concerned by the epidemic: people living with HIV, men who have sex with men, people who inject drugs, people from countries where HIV is endemic, young people from the communities most affected, sex workers as well as Indigenous people living in Montréal.
Adapted and inclusive services
The measures presented in the action plan focus on four broad areas, including services for the population. “It’s essential that prevention and treatment services be available to the population and adapted to its needs. From this perspective, the affected communities are part of the solution, and must be among our preferred partners,” stated Sonia Bélanger, president and CEO of CIUSSS du Centre-Sud-de-l’Île-de-Montréal.
International network of AIDS-free cities
Launched in Paris on December 1, 2014, the Fast-Track cities initiative stems from a partnership among the world’s largest cities, the International Association of Providers of AIDS Care (IAPAC) and the United Nations’ UN-AIDS and UN-Habitat programs. The 200 cities most affected by the epidemic are home to over a quarter of the 35 million people living with HIV worldwide. By signing the Paris Declaration, the mayors of the cities make a strong commitment. The political will of those who sign the Declaration indicates their willingness to work together to achieve, by 2020, the objectives set out by UNAIDS.
To access the summary and the common Montréal, Fast-Track city action plan, go to www.montrealsanssida.ca
Attachée de presse de la mairesse
Cabinet de la mairesse et du comité exécutif
Information: Linda Boutin, relationniste
Ville de Montréal514 872-6013
CIUSSS du Centre-Sud-de-l’Île-de-Montréal