Santé et Services sociaux Québec

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World AIDS Day 2010 Edition

"Let's put an end to the prejudice"

December 1rst is World AIDS Day. This event offers an opportunity to take a hard look at the prejudices engendered by the fear of catching AIDS in performing activities of daily living. With its "Let's put an End to the Prejudice" campaign, the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux hopes to increase public awareness about how AIDS is actually spread.

Showing a person living with HIV that you're not afraid of contracting the virus during activities of daily living may make them feel more accepted. Having a clearer understanding of the facts can lead to new attitudes, help push back discrimination, and do away with trivialization, while promoting better prevention.

Too many people are still afraid of individuals living with HIV

They mistakenly believe that HIV can be transmitted in the following situations:

  • Kissing on the cheek a person living with HIV.
  • Drinking from the same glass as a person living with HIV.
  • Being around an infected person when they cough or sneeze.
  • Shaking hands with a person living with HIV.
  • Working in the same office as a person living with HIV.

All of this indirectly engenders discrimination against people living with HIV in everyday situations. At the workplace, for example, unfounded beliefs about HIV transmission lead to irrational fears of being infected by someone in the workplace who is living with HIV.

Modes of Transmission

Very high risk.

Sexual contact

  • During sexual relations that involve the penis penetrating the vagina or anus.
  • During oral sex, although the risk is low.
  • Sharing sex toys.
  • Through contact with the genitals, anus, or bloody wound, sperm, or vaginal secretions of an infected person.

By blood-to-blood contact

  • Sharing paraphernalia for preparing, injecting, or inhaling drugs.
  • Tattooing or body piercing under non-sterile conditions.
  • Accidental exposure of non-intact skin (stings, wounds, injuries, etc.) or mucous membrane to contaminated blood.
  • From an infected mother to her baby during pregnancy, childbirth, and breast-feeding.

For more information about HIV, refer to the Frequently Asked Questions about HIV.

Choosing the Theme

The campaign's theme is based on the results of a study about the attitudes of Quebeckers towards people living with HIV. It revealed a recurrence in lack of knowledge about daily situations in which there is no risk of transmission, which engenders even more discrimination against people living with HIV.

Current Situation

Despite a decrease since the 1990s, HIV is still present in Québec. In 2009, 600 people were diagnosed with HIV. We deplore, nevertheless, that the infection has been trivialized to a certain degree with the appearance of more effective antiretroviral therapies. 18,000 people are currently living with HIV.

In 2009, men accounted for 83% of the new diagnosed cases. The 15–24 age group and 30-49 age group represent, respectively, 6% and 63% of new male cases. The percentages are 6% and 51% among women.

Nearly two-thirds (61%) of people newly diagnosed in 2009 had never had an HIV screening test before. Just under a quarter (22%) of cases newly diagnosed in 2009 already had signs and symptoms consistent with chronic HIV infection or had developed AIDS.

Radio message

Radio message "Surprise"