The revelation has sent a shockwave through the medical community, especially for those who deal with HIV head-on. Not only have researchers found that HIV has mutated, but it has also found a way to advance to AIDS-related illnesses faster and has found a way around the immune system of Indigenous people. Making matters worse in Saskatchewan, our province is considered one of the worst regions in North America for HIV incidents and 80% of HIV patients are Indigenous, setting off alarm bells.

The AIDS Programs South Saskatchewan is on high alert after the announcement with Education and Information Specialist Vidya Reddy calling it troubling news for a province that is already struggling to deal with the spread of the virus.

"Newly diagnosed people, 60% of them are reporting injection drug use," said Reddy. "That is the main cause for HIV, injection drug use and sharing of needles."

"It escalates the crisis because unless we get really get a grip on the high incidents of HIV, especially in our First Nations People, we are not going to be effective and the fact that this is immune resistant and progresses faster, is only going to worsen the situation," added Reddy.

While HIV is no longer the death sentence that it used to be, the spread of the virus is still a major concern. Saskatchewan has been in the fight for decades with no strong signs of improvement. New treatments are being found every year with Reddy saying it can depend on how advanced each case is, but some treatments are as simple as taking one pill a day. The new study went on to explain that the mutated strain still responds to some of the treatment options.

"It's resistant to a person's immune system but not resistant to the treatment... and the treatment is still quite effective."

Reddy hopes the news will create a sense of urgency in the community and will get agencies to re-double their efforts in funding research while also spreading awareness. One major effort right now is trying to pull back the stigma of getting tested. Reddy says an HIV test is very simple and shows responsibility for your own health and the health of others.

More Local News

Sidhu Sentenced To Eight Years In Prison

Families and friends of the Broncos, most adorned in Broncos jerseys bearing their family names, gathered once again in the makeshift courtroom at the Kerry Vickar Centre in Melfort to learn the fate…

Southeast Cornerstone School Division Underfunded Again in Provincial Budget

Reactions continuing to come in from those impacted by the 2019 Provincial Budget released yesterday. Chief Financial Officer with the Southeast Cornerstone Public School Division Shelley Toth said…

Police Broke Up Some Fights Last Night

The Estevan Police Service had their fair share of fights to break up last night. Police were called to a local business parking lot to a report of a fight between four males and a female. Police…

Roman Catholic School Division Seeks To Grow Truth And Reconciliation

The Holy Family has been committed to growing Truth and Reconciliation within their school division. Superintendent Terry Jordens, "We've been working with Truth and Reconciliation for a number of…

St. Mary's School Celebrates Rock Your Socks

Rock Your Socks is a program that many throughout the Energy City continue to participate in each year, to bring awareness to Down Syndrome Awareness Day. Special Olympics Active Start and…

Active Start And FUNdamentals Special Olympics Season Comes To Close

The Special Olympics programs hosted their training day to be a Special Olympics coach in Estevan Sunday, December 16th. Kandyce Meili coordinator, "We had the Special Olympics Active Start and…

St. Joseph's Hospital Down a Doctor

The St. Joseph's Hospital has taken a hit recently to their staffing through maternity leave, but now they face a much more permanent loss. Dr. Ahmad Sawwan, their specialist in Obstetrics &…

Spring Melt Means Potholes

It's no surprise to anyone that has driven on paved roads in Canada that the spring weather always uncovers some nasty potholes. Surprisingly though, Estevan is sitting pretty clean when it comes to…

Federal Budget 2019: Local MP Dr. Robert Kitchen

Souris-Moose Mountain MP Doctor Robert Kitchen didn’t sugarcoat his opinion on the federal budget delivered in Ottawa on Tuesday. “This is all staged to be a cover-up,” Kitchen said, alluding to the…

Wildlife Federation Voices Displeasure over Office Closures

Last week the Ministry of Environment announced the closure of 19 field offices, including the one here in Estevan. The decision was a result of budgte cuts and will impact 19 jobs, three of which… is Estevan's only source for community news and information such as weather and classifieds.

Search the Biz Guide