SCOTLAND, June 10, 2003 ( – In a June 5 Press Release, Canadian Alliance Health Critic Rob Merrifield called for an enhanced emphasis on HIV prevention during a Health Committee press conference today on the renewal of the Canadian Strategy on HIV/AIDS.  “The Canadian Alliance believes that a strategic and sustained focus on prevention should be the centrepiece of a renewed Canadian Strategy on HIV/AIDS,” said Merrifield. “The Strategy currently includes no clear, coordinated plan for HIV prevention.”

The Canadian Alliance dissenting report calls for an increase in funding for the Strategy to $85 million per year and the adoption of an HIV Prevention Strategic Plan with a targeted reduction in annual HIV infections from over 4000 to 2000 within five years.  The report also calls for funding of programs based on the successful “ABC” model of HIV prevention (Abstinence, Be faithful, Condom use where necessary).  The Alliance Report rejected the Committee’s recommendation for the introduction of “harm reduction” strategies into federal prisons and called on Correctional Service Canada to maintain an official and enforced policy of zero tolerance for drugs. Needle exchanges will perpetuate harmful behaviours and put guards at risk of injury.  Our focus should be on rehabilitation,” said Merrifield.  See UGANDA’S SUCCESSFUL STRATEGY AGAINST AIDS BASED ON CHASTITY AND FIDELITY