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From Hope to Health:
Towards an AIDS-free Generation

January 2013

MORE THAN 25 YEARS HAVE PASSED SINCE CANADIANS FIRST BEGAN DYING OF AIDS; many have lost friends, family and loved ones. As we continue to honour and remember those who have died, few could imagine the immense progress made in the last two decades in our ability to prevent and treat disease. We have reached and exciting tipping point in response to HIV.

Years of dedication by countless individuals have led to significant strides in HIV prevention, testing, care and treatment. These advances have created an environment where no more British Columbians have to contract HIV or die of AIDS; and AIDS-free generation is now possible. In B.C., an AIDS free generation would mean no more children are born with the virus; as these children become teenagers and adults, they will be at far lower risk of becoming infected than they are today, thanks to a wide range of prevention tools. And if they do acquire HIV, they are diagnosed early through regualar testing offers, and are promptly offered treatment to prevent them from passing the virus.

British Columbia has long been at the forefront in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Over the last 20 years, B.C. has spearheaded community responses and medical advances, and currently has a world-leading system of prevention and care. However, British Columbians continue to die unnecessarily of AIDS each year, while others remain unaware they are living with the virus.

Since 2009, a lot has been learned from HIV Treatment as Prevention and B.C.'s Seek and Treat for Optimal Prevention of HIV/AIDS (STOP HIV/AIDS) pilot in Vancouver and Prince George. During the pilot, more people have been offered and accepted an HIV test, more people previously unaware of their infection have a diagnosis, and more of those medically eleigible have decided to start treatment. As the STOP HIV/AIDS pilot concludeds, there is an opportunity to implement innovative approaches and lessons learned across all of B.C. The science of prevention and treating new infections is clear; now social and health system change is needed to support all those living with the virus and to ensure no one dies of AIDS. It is time for all of us to achieve this historic milestone: an AIDS-free geneeration.

Read more here: From Hope to Health: Towards an AIDS-free Generation

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