An AIDS vigil at the Citadel in Halifax. A new website shows how people living with HIV/AIDS in Nova Scotia engaged in a long and vigorous battle against prejudice. Photo Anita Martinez KJIPUKTUK (Halifax) – Less than thirty years ago people living with HIV/AIDS in Canada agitated against widespread prejudice, ignorance and stigmatization in society and government. This was while treatment was in its infancy and people with AIDS were dying at horrific rates.
In Nova Scotia Eric Smith, a South Shore schoolteacher living with HIV, was banned from the classroom after parents threatened to keep their children at home.
Also in Nova Scotia, Simon Thwaites was discharged from the Navy for being HIV-positive. He successfully fought the discharge in a precedent-setting case arguing that discrimination based on disability is a human rights’ violation.