December 14, 2012
Under a pilot project launched in October 2011, four area hospitals in Vancouver began offering HIV testing to patients when other blood tests were ordered upon admission. More than 30 individuals were diagnosed with HIV in the program's first year. Before the project began, only those who were believed to be at high risk for HIV were offered the test. According to Dr. Patricia Daly, chief medical health officer for the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority, the individuals diagnosed are men and women from a range of backgrounds, reinforcing the point that all adults should be tested for HIV as part of their routine health care. The provincial government recently announced that it will expand the program to the rest of the province in the next year as part of a plan called STOP HIV/AIDS.