The St. Paul’s Health Forum is an opportunity for members of the public to hear directly from world-leading experts from our hospital. Held each February at the Scotiabank Theatre in Vancouver, the Forum offers tips for staying healthy, news on the latest innovations in the prevention and treatment of different diseases and inspirational stories.
HIV/AIDS Forum 2013
Dr. Julio Montaner, Director of the British Columbia Centre for Excellence (BC-CfE) in HIV/AIDS at St. Paul’s, was the featured speaker at this year’s St. Paul’s Health Forum on HIV/AIDS. More than 100 members of the public attended the event, held on February 14, to hear Dr. Montaner discuss the latest progress in the battle to stop the disease.
“To curb HIV and reach the promise of an AIDS-free generation, we must ramp up and fully roll out treatment as prevention in Canada and around the world,” Dr. Montaner said. “You can deliver on an AIDS-free generation. All you need to do is implement what we already know.”
St. Paul’s Hospital Foundation organized the Forum to give the public the opportunity to hear from Dr. Montaner, one of the world’s foremost authorities on HIV/AIDS. Dr. Montaner played the key role in establishing highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), the drug “cocktail” that has become the internationally recognized gold-standard of HIV/AIDS treatment. He also introduced the world to the made-in-BC strategy of treatment as prevention, which involves administering HAART to medically eligible individuals to prevent new diagnoses while at the same time improving the lives of those already diagnosed with HIV/AIDS.
The Forum also featured a discussion with one of Montaner’s patients, Barbara Lieske. Lieske was diagnosed with HIV in January 2000 and is now living a healthy life with her husband thanks to the care of Dr. Montaner and his team.
“I am truly grateful to be under the care of Dr. Montaner and the staff who work with him at St. Paul’s,” Lieske said. “They are kind, caring, genuinely concerned, committed and deeply understanding – and I am treated with utmost respect. We are fortunate to have Dr. Montaner in Canada. This is a doctor with an international reputation who could be practicing anywhere in the world, but he chose Vancouver – how lucky we all are.”
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