Services for HIV patients still needed, despite victories against AIDS (St. Paul’s Hosptial)

Bill McGuire says he would be dead today had staff at the Dr. Peter Centre not fought to get him admitted there.

McGuire, 56, has both HIV and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease severe enough that he has to travel with an oxygen tank. A former drug addict with no family and few friends in Vancouver, McGuire had little ability to care for himself and manage his health conditions and ended up in hospital multiple times as a result.

McGuire is living proof that despite the important successes in the fight against AIDS, people living with HIV are still in desperate need of support, said Maxine Davis, executive director of the Dr. Peter AIDS Foundation.

The renaming of the AIDS wing at St. Paul’s Hospital earlier this year contributed to a widespread misperception that because fewer people are dying as a result of AIDS, there is no longer a need for services for people with HIV, Davis said, adding that one of her staff members was recently asked if the Dr. Peter Centre was closing.

Tara Carman reports

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