(Quebec) Ottawa extends 18 million to fight against HIV, hepatitis C and other sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections (STBBIs) in Quebec.

This pot will be used to finance 23 projects of community organizations located in Quebec, Montreal, Longueuil, Val-d’Or, Saint-Jérôme, La Tuque, Wendake, Gatineau and Trois-Rivières.

Federal Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos made the announcement on Friday with those responsible for Project L.U.N.E. who help sex workers.

The objective of these projects will be to do prevention and raise awareness among the most vulnerable populations, such as people from the LGBTQ2 community, Aboriginal peoples and immigrants.

“One of the problems is the stigma that prevents people from going to counseling and seeking care. They are afraid of being poorly received, of being judged, of not being treated well. So that prevents them from getting the health care they need and it ends up costing society more,” explained the minister in an interview with La Presse Canadienne.

Part of the money is also intended to reduce the transmission of HIV and hepatitis C among people who use injection or inhalation drugs and sex workers.

“It creates public health issues because these are infectious and contagious diseases. So these are diseases that can be limited more if people have access to health care,” says Duclos.

Among other things, we want to offer training to encourage screening, treatment and the use of support resources.

“There are still about 2,000 to 3,000 people a year in Canada who get HIV. In all, 62,000 people are living with HIV,” said the minister.