HOW DOES HIV AND AIDS AFFECT ABORIGINAL PEOPLES IN QUEBEC?
- In general, Aboriginal people experienced HIV at rates about 3.6 times higher than other Canadians in 2008. (1)
- Aboriginal people living in Quebec make up 9% of the First Nations population in Canada; and 7% of the Métis population live in Quebec. (2)
- However, Quebec does not currently report on ethnicity for positive HIV tests. (3)
There is a need for HIV and AIDS programs and dissemination of HIV and AIDs information within Aboriginal communities in Quebec
- Most Health and Social Services Centres (75%) of the First Nations and Inuit communities of Quebec do not have an HIV/AIDS Coordinator. (4)
- 93.33% of participating organizations did not have a specific HIV/AIDS program directed mainly at Aboriginal clients. (5)
- 52.5% of the communities have no HIV/AIDS program and 40% of the communities do not report having HIV/AIDS related activities. Only 17.5% provide HIV screening services. (6)
- More than 70% of the Health and Social Services organizations surveyed did not distribute information to Aboriginal communities and had little to no contacts within the Aboriginal communities in Quebec. (7)
- There is concern that knowledge of services and resources available in Quebec is not being disseminated very well, which can be inferred because 83.33% of respondents would like to have HIV/AIDS training and 65% wanted to know what training was available in their region and indicated this as a ‘very important’ need. (8)
Substance use (alcohol and drugs) is a concern within Aboriginal communities in Quebec
- 73.7% of Aboriginal people consider substance use (alcohol and drugs) a concern within their communities. (9)
- In 2005, Canada-wide HIV data reported that 53% of new HIV cases among Aboriginal people were caused by injection drug use, compared to just 14% among non-Aboriginals. (10)
The Aboriginal population is more vulnerable to contracting HIV and AIDS because of unique factors and social determinants of health
A person’s vulnerability [to HIV infection] increases or decreases based on:
- access to stable housing,
- early childhood development (e.g. history of child abuse),
- physical environments (e.g. geographically isolated communities, prison environments),
- access to health services,
- support networks and social environments (e.g. homophobia),
- HIV/AIDS-related stigma and discrimination),
- a history of sexual violence, and,
For this [Aboriginal] population in particular, face racism and the multigenerational effects of colonialism and the residential school system.
(1) Public Health Agency of Canada, Population-Specific HIV/AIDS Status Report: Aboriginal Peoples, 2008 at 19, [PHAC].
(2) PHAC at 4 to 5.
(3) PHAC at 18.
First Nations of Quebec and Labrador Health and Social Services Commission, Situation of HIV/AIDS Intervention and Prevention Among Aboriginals in Quebec, 2003 at 33 [FNQLHSSC].
(4) ” at 34.
(5) “ at 33.
(6) “ at 34.
(7) “ at 20.
(8) “ at 6.
(9) PHAC at 24.
(10) PHAC at vii.