Julio Montaner: Shifting the Global Conversation on HIV/AIDS

Julio Montaner: Shifting the Global Conversation on HIV/AIDS

BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS | Faculty of Medicine
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The United Nations formally adopted UBC Professor and Director of the BC Centre for Excellence (BC-CfE) in HIV/AIDS Julio Montaner’s highly effective ‘Treatment as Prevention’® (TasP®) HIV/AIDS approach as part of its 90-90-90 strategy.

The concept behind TasP® is to provide immediate and full access to antiretroviral treatment upon an HIV diagnosis. Sustained treatment helps to improve a patient’s health and longevity, while dramatically reducing the likelihood they will spread the disease. The TasP® strategy was developed at the BC-CfE in Vancouver and is now standard practice throughout British Columbia – where it has been successful in reducing HIV morbidity and mortality by 90 per cent, reducing new HIV cases by 66 percent and decreasing new AIDS cases by 88 percent.

The tactic is also global in scope: TasP® forms the backbone of the UNAIDS global targets towards ending AIDS worldwide by 2030. The UNAIDS’ strategy’s 2020 target is 90 percent of people living with HIV to be diagnosed, 90 percent of those on treatment and 90 percent of those virally suppressed. Dr. Montaner strongly believes an AIDS-free generation can be reached in Canada and the world through TasP®. France, Spain, Brazil, Panama, major U.S. cities, and many other jurisdictions have already gotten on board. However, the Canadian federal government has yet to implement a nationwide HIV and AIDS strategy, despite rising rates of the disease in many of the country’s regions.

Montaner hopes this will soon change: “Unless we change that conversation and come down from the pulpit and get our hands dirty engaging with people on their terms, we won’t be successful.”

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The United Nations has formally adopted a UBC professor's strategy to combat HIV/AIDS worldwide.

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Photo Credit: courtesy of the BC CfE
Photo Credit: courtesy of the BC CfE
Photo Credit: courtesy of the BC CfE

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