Health officials are trying to stop the spread of hepatitis and HIV in the northwest.
The Sioux Lookout First Nations Health Authority say Hepatitis C has been on the rise over the last couple of years and believe part of the problem is increased opiate abuse and the likelihood of more people sharing needles.
Dr. Kathy Pouteau, a physician at Kasibonika Lake First Nation, said a new awareness campaign being launched this week carries an overarching message:
"Respecting yourself and respecting others. And then getting more specific around ensuring ... that if somebody is using drugs, to ensure they have clean equipment each time that they're using."
The campaign — which is endorsed by First Nations chiefs in the region — also emphasizes the importance of using protection to prevent sexually transmitted diseases.