The 20th annual AIDS Walk for Life is set to take place September 20 in Nelson.

20th annual AIDS Walk set for September 20

Registration will begin at 10 a.m. at Hall and Baker Streets and the walk will begin at noon.

ANKORS (AIDS Network Kootenay Outreach and Support Society) is inviting the public to attend the group’s 20th annual AIDS Walk for Life on September 20.

Registration will begin at 10 a.m. at Hall and Baker Streets and the walk will begin at noon.

From Hall and Baker the participants will walk to Lakeside Park for 1 p.m. where guest speakers Alex Atamanenko, Michelle Mungall, Cheryl Dowden and a member from the local Sinixt Nation will speak before the barbecue in the Rotary shelter.

Paul, from Father Paul and the Fireside Prophets, and James Lamb will also be performing at the event.

You can help raise awareness and prevent stigma by participating in the event.

HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) weakens the immune system, the body’s built-in defense system to fight against disease and illness. However, although it weakens the body’s immune system, people can have HIV for years without feeling symptoms and not knowing they have it. Because of this, it’s important to be regularly tested every three months, or whenever HIV could have passed has happened.

Who can have HIV?

Anyone can be infected with HIV, no matter their age, gender, race, ethnic origin or sexuality. As of 2011 approximately 71,300 Canadians were living with HIV, which represents an increase of 7,300 people (11 per cent) since 2008.

HIV can only be transmitted from contact with other’s intimate bodily fluids or blood; it cannot be passed through healthy, unbroken skin, or any form of casual contact such as saliva, urine, tears or sweat.

Having accurate information and a clear understanding is a starting point to improving living conditions for members of the community that are living with HIV. Stigma hurts, so people are encouraged  to adjust language and attitudes.

There is no cure for HIV, however there are treatments that can help someone that is HIV positive to live a long and otherwise healthy life. However it is not just treatment, support and information need to be given which is something ANKORS provides.

For any further questions or concerns please visit www.catie.ca or contact ANKORS at 250-505-5506 or visit ankors.bc.ca.

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