Face of HIV in Saskatchewan

The numbers show a startling picture when it comes to HIV in Saskatchewan. There is an infection rate of twice the national average 20.8 cases versus 9.3 cases per 100,000 people. Injection drug use now accounts for 75 per cent of HIV transmission in Saskatchewan, and young aboriginal women are disproportionately affected. But even more than that, stories of people infected with and affected by HIV show fear, but also hope.

Despite facing stigma and discrimination people are slowly coming forward to talk about their experiences with HIV to help educate, encourage people to get tested, and offer support to those who are diagnosed.

Part 1: Political will necessary in fight against HIV
The high rate of HIV infections in Saskatchewan does not come as a surprise to many working on the frontlines. Earlier studies and strategies hinted that a storm was brewing.  Read more… (Listen to the radio version: Face of HIV – Part 1)

Part 2:  The face of HIV in Saskatchewan: People speak out despite fear
Despite Saskatchewan having an HIV infection rate of twice the national average, people still find it difficult to tell others of their illness. Read more… (Listen to the radio version: Face of HIV – Part 2 )

Part 3: HIV clusters linked to injection drug use in families
While 20-year-old Alyssa, who lives in Saskatoon, doesn’t remember the exact day this year that she found out she was HIV positive, she remembers all the other details. Read more… (Listen to the radio version: Face of HIV – Part 3)

Part 4: Education a way to address HIV stigma
Ethel Turner died of AIDS in 1998, alone in a hotel room in Edmonton after leaving her First Nation. Read more… (Listen to the radio version: Face of HIV – Part 4 )

Part 5: Finding help on First Nations
First Nations communities are increasingly taking leadership, making partnerships and getting HIV under control. Read more… (Listen to the radio version: Face of HIV – Part 5)

Part 6: Going west to seek services
Robert Deschambeault left the province six months ago to try to find someplace to get help for his HIV and Hepatitis C. He is 45 years old and originally from Prince Albert. Read more… (Listen to the radio version: Face of HIV – Part 6)

Part 7: Research important for more programing, funds
It has meant more paperwork for people being diagnosed with HIV, but information from a recently created questionnaire is expected to start revealing new insight into the disease soon. Read more… (Listen to the radio version: Face of HIV – Part 7)

Part 8: Treatment as a prevention method for HIV
With so many unique aspects to HIV in Saskatchewan, health care professionals are reading up on treatment and thinking outside the box. Read more… (Listen to the radio version: Face of HIV – Part 8)

Part 9: Without treatment people still dying of HIV
With novel medication and treatment, the new refrain of health care professionals is that HIV is not a death sentence anymore. Or at least it shouldn’t be. Read more… (Listen to the radio version: Face of HIV – Part 9)

Part 10: The Robert Effect
There is a lot of silence around HIV and AIDS, which makes the death of one young man from La Ronge so inspiring. Read more… (Listen to the radio version: Face of HIV – Part 10)


About the Face of HIV in Saskatchewan:

Angela Hill in an interview with the Richard Brown show on 650 CKOM: The face of HIV in Saskatchewan

Angela Hill’s interview with CBC Morning Edition’s Sheila Coles: The Morning Edition – HIV/AIDS in Saskatchewan

Research for this project was made possible by a Canadian Institute of Health Research Journalism Award.

1 Response to Face of HIV in Saskatchewan

  1. Pingback: The face of HIV in Saskatchewan | Angela Hill

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