Many took part in AIDs walk

This year’s annual AIDS Awareness Walk in the Hazelton took place on Sunday and more than 45 people of all ages showed up to participate.

This year’s annual AIDS Awareness Walk took place on Sunday and more than 45 people of all ages showed up to participate.

A few things changed this year, one of which was that the walk started at the Hazelton Secondary school to allow for better parking opposite the rest area along Highway 62 before Hagwilget Bridge. The second was the addition of a shorter walk for elderly and younger children who wanted to participate, as well the longer walk was changed to walk through the First Nations residential areas to bring more awareness, organizer Bev Busby said.

“This year you could have walked straight there or you could walk in and out of the reserves to bring a little more awareness,” she explained. “I think people seeing the T-shirts and people walking helps because people asked us what we were doing. We have people say they don’t need it  (AIDS awareness) here but the numbers in the Northwest are the highest in B.C. so it’s important to get people thinking.”

Once again, Frances Sampson did their traditional opening with her speech followed by a prayer and this year Mark Larson spoke along with staff from Positive Living North at the Anglican Church Hall after the walk.

In addition to guest speakers, they gave out prizes, music filled the air at both the beginning and end of the walk with the Diamond Willow Boys, which is comprised of Alf Brady, John deBoer and Joe Sullivan.

Busby said while in the past the event was also a fundraiser this year they focused on the message.

“It can be a fund raiser with donations but different places do it differently and for me awareness is really important,” she said. “Gitxsan Health is a big funder and it’s important to reach as many people as you can and it’s all local business who donate the prizes.”

Every year in addition to the walk the participants are provided with T-Shirts. One is created locally and the other from the national sponsor.

This year’s local T-shirts, were designed by Dora jackson of Glen Vowell which boasted feathers and the logo and they also get free Scotia Bank National t-shirts.

“Usually everyone likes the local t-shirt,” Busby said. “It was green this year to change things and it’s nice to have bright colours and you could really spot us this year. When I looked down the hill ahead of me we really stood out.”

Once again they had the memory table for those who have lost a battle with AIDS and Busby added that she is still shocked how many people just don’t understand the dangers.

“Any awareness around protecting people is important,” she said. “In the Lower Mainland the numbers levelled out a few years ago but for some reason the north in Canada in general numbers are climbing. The highest increase in our area is aboriginal women and youth. I think a lot of it is people think it is hard to get tested anonymously and its not hard to do at all.”

As for why there is still a problem getting people to play it safe and test regularly, Busby says a big part is fear.

“People are still scared to get tested and I think people aren’t aware of how much it is spreading because of the lack of testing and the fear around it,” she said. “it really should be part of a healthy check up regularly for everyone.”

Just Posted

Trudeau has won the most seats — but not a majority. What happens next?

Trudeau will have to deal with some of the implications of Monday’s result

LIVE MAP: Results in Canada’s 2019 federal election

Polls are now closed across the country

ELECTION 2019: Here are the results from our 12 B.C. races to watch

Incumbents mostly won our 12 key races, but there were a few upsets too

Security guard bitten, punched by patient at Terrace hospital

Violent incident one of many in Northwest B.C., nurses union says

Smithers woman killed in Oct. 16 car crash

A memorial will be held for Rain Reeves on Oct. 29 at Smithers Golf and Country Club

Play-by-play: Bachrach new MP for Skeena-Bulkley Valley, all 219 polls reported

Bachrach beats Conservative candidate Claire Rattée by more than 3,000

‘Issue-by-issue parliament’: Expert says Liberals need to placate NDP to be effective

Scandals, social issues, racism defined 2019 federal election, SFU prof says

Misconduct investigations spike by 65% across B.C.’s municipal police forces: report

Reports overall up 15 per cent while complaints made by public down seven per cent

‘Wexit’ talk percolates day after Liberals returned to power with minority

An online petition is calling for a western alliance and Alberta to separate

Federal election saw 66% of registered voters hit the polls across Canada

Roughly 18 million people cast their ballots, voting in a Liberal minority government

Alleged RCMP secret leaker must stay with B.C. parents while on bail

Cameron Ortis, 47, is charged with violating the Security of Information Act

‘Inconsistent’ message on climate change hurt Liberals at the polls: SFU prof

Trudeau government will have to make concessions to hold onto power

Opposition to Trans Mountain won’t change, B.C. minister says

Pipeline projects proceed under minority Trudeau government

Remains found under Kamloops street belong to woman who lived five centuries ago

Woman was between ages of 50 and 59, gave birth at least once, was right-handed

Most Read