Canada: Vancouver Hospitals to Start Voluntary Routine HIV Testing to Save Lives
September 27, 2011
Beginning in October, Vancouver hospitals will offer HIV testing to all patients who are getting bloodwork done, Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) announced on Friday. The pilot project aims to diagnose and treat infected patients earlier in order to improve their health and, by cutting viral loads, to prevent onward HIV transmission.
Previous studies have found the "treatment as prevention" (TAP) model helped reduce new HIV infections in British Columbia by 60 percent since 1996. In all other provinces, rates were no better than unchanged.
"Mortality is down, HIV new cases are down, AIDS-related hospital admissions are down," said Dr. Julio Montaner, director of the B.C. Center for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, which has led the TAP approach. The center and Providence Health Care are partnering with VCH in the Vancouver pilot.
St. Paul's and Mount Saint Joseph hospitals will begin testing all consenting patients on Oct. 3; Vancouver General Hospital will begin in November; and University of British Columbia joins in 2012. The pilot ends in 2013; data from it will be used to determine whether to continue or expand the project, which has $48 million (US $47 million) in funding from the B.C. Ministry of Health.
09.23.2011; Terri Theodore
This article was provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update. Visit the CDC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.
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