Conference to address HIV/AIDS issues

The incidence of HIV/AIDS among aboriginal people in Central Alberta continues at epidemic proportions despite progress made in mainstream society, says Raye St. Denys, executive director of Shining Mountains Living Community Services.

About a dozen people from Shining Mountains Living Community Services and the Red Deer College Rural Health Research and Social Work Departments joined forces Tuesday to raise awareness of the rising numbers of HIV/AIDS cases in aboriginal communities with a special walk and supper.

The incidence of HIV/AIDS among aboriginal people in Central Alberta continues at epidemic proportions despite progress made in mainstream society, says Raye St. Denys, executive director of Shining Mountains Living Community Services.

In concert with Red Deer College, Shining Mountains will host a conference on Friday dealing with HIV/AIDS issues within Central Alberta’s First Nations and Métis communities. Set for the Four Centres Building at the college, the conference is a part of a new research project that will investigate issues specific to aboriginal communities in Central Alberta.

The conference includes a keynote address by Duane Morriseau-Beck, who has been a key figure in addressing HIV/AIDS issues among aboriginal people across Canada, including access to antiretrovirals.

Admission is $20 for students and $75 in advance or $100 at the door for everyone else.

Registration is open from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. with the conference to open at 8:45 a.m.

For information, visit www.shiningmountainslcs.ca or call 403-346-9794.

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