Flash mobs were organized across the globe on Thursday.

Grannies are doing it for themselves

Flash mobs were organized across the globe Thursday



Flash mobs were organized across the globe Thursday to raise attention for World AIDS Day, and Kelowna was no different.

Twirling, stomping and raising their hands in the air to the tune of Annie Lennox’s Sisters Doin’ It For Themselves, around 30 members of Grannies for Africa did their part in Capri Centre Mall to remind this community that HIV and AIDS are far from cured both abroad and locally.

“It’s a huge problem. Although inroads are being made and there have been huge improvements there are problems that have not been dealt with,” said Norma Lippa, of Grandmothers for Africa.

“People are still suffering from HIV/AIDS.”

Lippa and her fellow Okanagan members of Grandmothers for Africa focus their attention on Africa, where women are the face of the epidemic.

South Africa, for example, has one of the highest rates of HIV in the world, with an estimated seven million people living with the virus in 2015. According to some estimates, around 7,500 women aged 15 to 24 were infected with HIV every week last year. More than 90 per cent of the adolescents infected in Sub-Saharan Africa are girls.

That’s left a number of elderly women taking responsibility for families that have been ravaged by the disease.

It’s the grandmothers in African communities who are keeping everything afloat, Lippa said.

“There’s a whole generation of mothers and fathers who have died of AIDS, so these grandmothers age 70 and up are waking up every morning figuring out how to feed and send 20 children to school,” she said.

“They are doing everything in their power.”

While African countries face unique challenges with cultural roadblocks and medications, Canada is also struggling to get a handle on the disease.

The number of people living with HIV in Canada is increasing.

According to a national survey, an estimated 75,500 Canadians were living with HIV at the end of 2014. That represents an increase of 6,700 people since 2011.

Of persons living with HIV, an estimated 52,220 were diagnosed, 39,790 were on antiretroviral therapy, and 35,350 had suppressed viral load.

An estimated 80 per cent of persons living with HIV were diagnosed, 76 per cent of persons diagnosed with HIV were on treatment, and 89 per cent of persons on treatment had suppressed viral load.

The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS and the World Health Organization have established global targets that will generate momentum toward the elimination of AIDS as a public health threat by 2030.

Among the most notable is the 90-90-90 targets. They state that by 2020, 90 per cent of all people living with HIV will know their status, 90 per cent of those diagnosed will receive antiretroviral treatment, and 90 per cent of those on treatment will achieve viral suppression.

“Canada has made great progress in addressing HIV/AIDS over more than three decades of responding to the epidemic. However, there is still work to do to reach the 90-90-90 targets by 2020,” reads an update from the federal government, posted Thursday.


Just Posted

Minister announces funding to upgrade Kettle Valley Rail Trail

Kelowna - $500,000 will go towards project that will upgrade Kettle Valley trail

Residents pay tribute to city’s homeless

He was articulate and well-spoken. He was great at self-reflection. He liked watching the Canucks. And more often than not, he lived at the Howard House Men’s Shelter.

Day 2 of RCMP search at Silver Creek residence

Police use backhoe in ongoing search effort at residential/agricultural Salmon River Road property

Kelowna resident hopes to create more with haunted house

Paul Coxe’s haunted house will be on display at 945 Grenfell Road, Friday, Oct. 27

Expanding reuse and recycle programs

Curbside pickup pilot project launched in Kelowna, Peachland, Lake Country

Mixing up local talent and cocktails

The annual Okanagan Spirits Craft Distillery Mixoff takes place in Kelowna in November

B.C. search groups mobilize for missing mushroom picker

Searchers from across the province look for Frances Brown who has been missing since Oct. 14.

Search for missing B.C. man a race against winter weather

David Jeff of Williams Lake was last seen in Kamloops during the chaotic wildfire evacuations

Expanding your creative process at UBCO

Kelowna - Creative Days events will be held at the university Saturday, Oct. 21, and Nov. 18

Exercising her right to fight

Thinking inside the box helped push Geneva Kostashen through cancer treatment

Residents pay tribute to city’s homeless

He was articulate and well-spoken. He was great at self-reflection. He liked watching the Canucks. And more often than not, he lived at the Howard House Men’s Shelter.

Man steals police car, goes for a ‘slow’ ride

Mission RCMP say the motive of the theft is unknown

Dodgers punch ticket to World Series

This will be the first time the Los Angles Dodgers have made it to the World Series since 1988.

Surf group winning the war on plastic bags

The Tofino Co-op will no longer provide plastic bags, following in the footsteps of the Ucluelet location that already made the change earlier this year.

Most Read