Saskatchewan has the highest HIV rate in the country – over 2 times the national average – and World AIDS Day brings attention to the grim stat.
A group of people were in Victoria Park Thursday to hold a vigil for those who are currently living with HIV/AIDS and those who have died from the disease.
Greg Riehl, chair of the Canadian AIDS Society, said it’s important attention is brought to the disease because it affects everyone in some way.
“These people’s are someone’s brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, moms and dads and putting more focus on HIV because it is 100 per cent preventable,” Riehl said.
Riehl said the province had three HIV-positive babies be born within the province.
“We know other provinces that haven’t had a positive case in 10 to 20 years.”
Riehl said the disease really affects the indigenous population in Saskatchewan, where 81 per cent of the new cases in the province were found.
He also encourages everyone to go out and get tested for HIV, even if they don’t think they may have it.