For Immediate Release
May 27, 2014
Office of the Premier
Ministry of Health
Providence Health Care
Leading the way in the fight against AIDS
Vancouver, May 27, 2014 - An AIDS-free B.C. is in sight, as Premier Christy Clark along with UN undersecretary
and executive director for UNAIDS, Michel Sidibé, and Dr. Julio Montaner, director for
the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, and Health Minister Terry Lake announced that ward
10C at St. Paul's Hospital will no longer be used as a dedicated AIDS ward.
"This is a proud day for British Columbians as we mark another milestone in our leadership in
the fight against HIV/AIDS," said Premier Clark. "Thanks to the dedicated efforts of the
community, those at the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS and health professionals across
the province, a ward that once served those dying from AIDS, now supports those living with
Ward 10C at St. Paul's Hospital in downtown Vancouver was originally opened as an AIDS ward
in February 1997 during the peak of the HIV and AIDS epidemic in the city, when approximately
one person was dying of AIDS every day. Earlier diagnosis of HIV, along with advances in
treatment and care, has resulted in a significant decrease of AIDS. Patients living with HIV will
continue to receive world-leading treatment and care. The focus of the ward will include
treatment related to addictions such as various bacterial and viral infections like chronic
"British Columbia's dedication to the fight against HIV/AIDS has meant that we have reduced
AIDS cases in Vancouver by over 80% since 1996," said Lake. "With continued focus on
providing care, treatment and support for those living with HIV and related diseases, more
British Columbians will live longer, healthier lives."
"There was a time when there weren't enough beds to care for the numbers of people living
with HIV," said Sidibé. "The pioneering work of Dr. Montaner and the leadership of British
Columbia have helped to ensure that people living with HIV live longer, healthier lives and as a
result HIV clinics are starting to close. This is an important milestone towards ending the AIDS
epidemic," he added. UNAIDS also announced that Montaner has agreed to serve as senior
advisor on HIV to the executive director of UNAIDS.
British Columbia is recognized as a world-leader in the fight against HIV/AIDS, with innovative
programs that have reduced HIV/AIDS-related deaths by greater than 80% since 1996. British
Columbia has taken an aggressive approach to addressing the HIV epidemic through programs
such as the Seek and Treat for Optimal Prevention of HIV/AIDS (STOP HIV/AIDS) pilot.
Beginning last year, the B.C. Government provided $19.9 million in annual funding to expand
this program across the province. The BC Centre for Excellence's Treatment as Prevention
strategy has been adopted by France, Brazil, Panama, China, UNAIDS and in cities in the United States.
"It was not that long ago that HIV/AIDS was a death sentence and those who came to this ward
at St. Paul's were here to die," said Dr. Montaner. "Today, ward 10C will provide treatment,
support and care for those living with HIV-related issues. We have worked hard to make this
day happen and I commend everyone who has supported our efforts."
St. Paul's Hospital is an acute care teaching and research hospital in the heart of downtown
Vancouver. It is home to many world-class medical and research programs including the BC
Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, which is dedicated to improving the health of British
Columbians with HIV.
Office of the Premier
Media Relations Manager
Ministry of Health
250 952-1887 (media line)
BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS
604 682-2344 ext. 66536
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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