AIDS, One World. One Hope.
Date of Issue
May 8, 1996
Perforation or Dimension
Ashton-Potter Canada Limited.
Designed by Kosta Tsetsekas.
Pained faces stare out through patterns of stained glass. Weary eyes search for hope, wait for help. Gently evoking the anguish felt by AIDS sufferers everywhere, a new Canadian domestic rate stamp was designed by Gus Tsetsekas to mark the XI International Conference on AIDS to be held this July in Vancouver, British Columbia. Titled "One World, One Hope", it features an oil-on-canvas painting by Vancouver artist Joe Average. Reminiscent of a stained-glass window depicting human faces with patient, waiting eyes, the image is a poignant reminder of the plight of thousands of AIDS victims in Canada today. Health Canada reports there have been 11,644 cases of AIDS in our country as of June, 1995. Since 1982, when the first case was recorded, 8,274 deaths have been attributed to this disease. Even more startling are the numbers of Canadians that are HIV positive. Health Canada believes that 32,000-35,000 people are afflicted with HIV and will develop AIDS within ten years. The Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) destroys the body's immune system leaving it susceptible to illness and infection. HIV can remain in an incubation stage for as long as ten years. In later stages, even mildly infectious diseases can seriously effect the victim. AIDS (Acquired ImmunoDeficiency Syndrome) is the name given to the final stage of infection caused by HIV. Because there is no known cure, ending the spread of AIDS is of paramount importance. Canada has responded in a number of ways ranging from medical research and treatment to educational and awareness programs, and even social legislation. The National Advisory Committee on Aids was developed in 1983 to monitor trends in the pattern of the disease in Canada and to make recommendations to the federal government. Funds have been allocated for various conferences and for a national blood screening program. Over 15,000 participants are expected in Vancouver for the July conference. Organizers call it "the single most important scientific event of 1996 for persons affiliated with the study of HIV." Scientists, educators, politicians, public health workers, health care providers and persons with HIV/AIDS will attend. The new stamp, issued on May 8th, marks this important event and remind us of the courage that many Canadians have mustered in the face of a tragedy.
Canada Post Corporation. Canada's Stamps Details, Vol. 5, No. 3, 1996, p. 28-30.
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