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Commentary & Opinion
Canada: Tests Will Help Eliminate AIDS

August 22, 2012

"British Columbia leads the country in reducing the spread of AIDS -- there's no reason it can't lead the world in eliminating the disease altogether. ...

"Dr. Julio Montaner, director of the B.C. Center for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, believes the disease can be stopped. He's among the province's medical experts who have launched a four-year, $48 million pilot program aimed at detecting and treating HIV/AIDS faster. ...

"The trouble is, the majority of new infections in the province are spread by people who are HIV-positive and don't know it, about 3,500 people in B.C., estimates Montaner. He wants to find them, and to do that, he and his colleagues want to test every person in the province who is or has been sexually active. ...

"The key is getting people to take that test. Some may be offended by the mere suggestion that they could be carriers of the disease. ...

"... In July, [Montaner] took his message to the International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C., where he urged governments to sign the D.C. Declaration, which 'recognizes the fact that we stand at a unique time in the history of the AIDS epidemic. Through new scientific advances and societal, political, and human rights gains, it is possible to turn the tide against AIDS and begin to end the epidemic in our lifetimes.'...

"'You can deliver on an AIDS-free generation,' is Montaner's message to the politicians. 'All you need to do is implement what we already know and we get it done within your political term.'

"The rest of us can do our part by getting tested, and by supporting treatment of this disease without judgment or condemnation."

Back to other news for August 2012

Excerpted from:
Times Colonist (Victoria)

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