Douglas College honours Dr. Julio Montaner, pioneering HIV and AIDS researcher
June 5, 2014 - Douglas College is today awarding its highest distinction, honorary fellowship, to Dr. Julio Montaner,
a renowned researcher and pioneer in the fight against HIV and AIDS.
"I am very thankful and honoured to receive this special distinction from Douglas College. This fellowship is a testament to the
work my colleagues and I have carried out over the last three decades to stop HIV and AIDS," says Dr. Montaner, Director of the
B.C. Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS (BC-CfE).
In addition to being Director of the BC-CfE, Dr. Montaner is a Professor of Medicine at UBC and has held the St. Paul's Hospital
Foundation/University of British Columbia Endowed Chair in AIDS Research since 1996.
Dr. Montaner has been a tireless advocate for improving the efficacy and accessibility of HIV treatment and care. In the mid-1990s,
his innovative research led to the development of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), a triple-drug therapy which lowers
HIV levels in the bloodstream and improves the immune system. HAART is now the gold standard of HIV treatment.
Over the past decade, a main focus of his work has been the development and implementation of an approach known as Treatment as
Prevention. This approach calls for early engagement of HIV-positive individuals into treatment to reduce the virus to
undetectable levels in the body, making it very difficult to transmit and improving health outcomes drastically.
"The Treatment as Prevention strategy we pioneered here in British Columbia, in partnership with the provincial government, is a
game-changer in the fight against HIV and AIDS. It's worked here in B.C. to dramatic effect and other countries have begun to
follow our lead, including China, Brazil, France, Spain, and Panama. If adopted globally, this strategy could drastically
curb morbidity, mortality, and transmission with remarkable economic impact," Dr. Montaner says.
"We are proud to recognize Dr. Montaner with our institution's highest distinction, Honorary Fellowship. As an internationally
recognized leader in the fight against HIV and AIDS, his research and advocacy have changed and saved countless lives. He is a remarkable
inspiration to not only our college community but also to an entire generation of people," Douglas College President Scott McAlpine says.
"Dr. Montaner has tackled one of the most serious health and social issues of our time. It is our privilege to recognize his dedication
and inspiring work," Douglas College Board Chair Shelley Williams says.
Douglas College is one of the largest colleges in British Columbia, providing applied bachelor's degrees, university transfer, career
and post-degree programs for over 20,000 students each year.
For more information, visit douglascollege.ca.
PO Box 2503,
New Westminster BC
About the B.C. Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS:
The BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS (BC-CfE) is Canada's
largest HIV/AIDS research, treatment and education facility and is internationally recognized as an innovative world leader
in combating HIV/AIDS and related diseases. BC-CfE is based at St. Paul's Hospital, Providence Health Care, a teaching
hospital of the University of British Columbia. The BC-CfE works in close collaboration with key provincial
stakeholders, including health authorities, health care providers, academics from other institutions, and
the community to decrease the health burden of HIV and AIDS. By developing, monitoring and disseminating
comprehensive research and treatment programs for HIV and related illnesses, the BC-CfE helps improve
the health of British Columbians living with HIV.
Reproduced with permission - "B.C. Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS"
B.C. Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS
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