CAAN continues to support World AIDS Day on December 1st of each year and launches a week-long national public awareness campaign across the land called
Indigenous AIDS Awareness Week (IAAW).*

This national campaign is guided by a steering committee that consists of national Indigenous and non-Indigenous partners and reflects the collaborative efforts in recognizing HIV/AIDS in Indigenous populations. The event consists of themed activities and events that are hosted in community and focus on specific target groups such as women, youth, people who are incarcerated, Two-Spirit people, Inuit, Metis and Indigenous Leadership.

*CAAN will be changing AAAW to Indigenous AIDS Awareness Week (IAAW). December 1st was designated by CAAN membership as Indigenous AIDS Day across the land to be inclusive with December 1st World AIDS Day across Mother Earth. At a membership meeting, it was also designated to be the first week in December as IAAW. Up until 2020, we used the term Aboriginal, but this will be changed to Indigenous going forward.


Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network Ribbon

Why We Started IAAW

Indigenous AIDS Awareness Week is an opportunity to:

Increase awareness and knowledge about HIV/AIDS.

Establish ongoing prevention and education programs in Indigenous communities.

Address common attitudes that may interfere with prevention, care and treatment activities.

Reduce HIV/AIDS-related stigma and discrimination.

Indigenous AIDS Awareness Week Activities – Just a Beginning

Every year, between December 1 and December 7, you have an opportunity to begin a dialogue about HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) among people in your community – especially among the young men and women who may be at greatest risk of infection.

It is an ideal time to begin to raise knowledge about HIV – what the virus is, how it is spread, the importance of knowing how to prevent infection and regular testing, and how the virus is best treated. Or perhaps it is an ideal time for your community to remember your friends, family and community members who may have lost their brave struggle against HIV and died as a result of (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) or AIDS-related illnesses.

Or perhaps it is an ideal time to sit with community Elders and leaders to begin the necessary dialogue about what is needed to educate your community’s young people or how best to reduce HIV/AIDS-related stigma and discrimination, or how to best support and care for Indigenous People Living with HIV/AIDS (IPHA) from your community.

But remember, the activities which you may have started during Indigenous AIDS Awareness Week need to continue throughout the year whenever there is an opportunity to raise awareness and knowledge about HIV/AIDS.

Indigenous AIDS Awareness Week Events & Workshops

Upcoming Indigenous AIDS Awareness Week Events

Sorry, we don’t currently have any events or workshops under this term or topic. Please check back soon.

We cannot pretend HIV doesn’t exist in our communities – it does!

Every First Nation, Inuit and Métis community is affected by HIV/AIDS. Knowledge and awareness about HIV/AIDS is one way to address and respond to the fear, shame and stigma that contributes to each new infection. It is important to raise awareness about this preventable disease and for all Aboriginal people to have the knowledge to make a difference and be leaders in their own communities.

Indigenous AIDS Awareness Week Tools & Resources