Tipi of Courage helps improve HIV/AIDS awareness among Aboriginal communities

Topics: National, Emergencies and Disasters in Canada
December 31, 2012

Tipi of Courage helps improve HIV/AIDS awareness among Aboriginal communities

While HIV can lead to the development of AIDS, a serious condition that affects Canadians, the virus has taken a significant toll on the Aboriginal people of Canada.

As the country's leading non-profit organization, the Canadian Red Cross responds to health emergencies that occur both domestically and abroad with support and programs that help those in need.

With the Tipi of Courage, the Canadian Red Cross strives to put an end to the inaccurate information surrounding HIV/AIDS and provide valuable information to Aboriginals affected by the virus.

What is Tipi of Courage?
While First Nations, Métis, Inuit and urban Aboriginal peoples comprise only four per cent of Canada's total population, a disproportionate amount of those impacted by HIV/AIDS in the country are Aboriginals.

Developed in Southern Alberta by the Canadian Red Cross in partnership with the Aboriginal component of Calgary's Coalition on HIV/AIDS, the Tipi of Courage is a community-based initiative that helps educate Aboriginals with the virus.

The Tipi is a symbol that inspires courage and evokes a "Warrior" image for those affected by HIV/AIDS. By utilizing information gathered from multiple tribes across the country and by offering workshops operated by volunteers, the Canadian Red Cross helps empower the Aboriginal population and eliminate the stigma surrounding the virus.

To learn more about the Tipi of Courage and get involved, please contact us by phone at 403-541-6100 or by e-mail at tipiofcourage@redcross.ca.

The impact of HIV/AIDS
While Canada's Aboriginal population is adversely affected by HIV/AIDS, the virus impacts men, women and children around the world.

In 2011, 2.5 million individuals were diagnosed with HIV, while 1.7 million people died as a result of AIDS-related ailments. In total, 34 million people are impacted by HIV.

On December 1, the international community observed World AIDS Day, an event which honors the memories of those who passed away due to HIV/AIDS by raising awareness about the transmission, treatment and prevention of the virus.

How you can help
Belonging to the world's largest humanitarian network, the Canadian Red Cross provides individuals affected by HIV/AIDS resources that can help create a better future and offers support for organizations that are committed to the prevention of HIV/AIDS.

With assistance from generous Canadians like you, the Canadian Red Cross can continue to offer programs that improve the lives of those with the HIV/AIDS virus as well as others in need.

To donate, please visit us online or contact your local Canadian Red Cross office today.