Dr. Julio Montaner nominated to Canadian Medical Hall of Fame

Vancouver, B.C. [October 7, 2014]: Dr. Julio Montaner, director of the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS (BC-CfE), at St. Paul’s Hospital, is one of six Canadian physicians nominated to the prestigious Canadian Medical Hall of Fame for 2015.

The Canadian Medical Hall of Fame Laureates are individuals whose outstanding contributions to medicine and the health sciences have led to extraordinary improvements in human health. “The Canadian Medical Hall of Fame is proud to count Dr. Julio Montaner among Canada’s illustrious medical heroes,” says Dr. Jean Gray, chair of The Canadian Medical Hall of Fame. “His contribution to health in Canada and the world is well documented and a wonderful example of the kind of passion, diligence and innovative thinking displayed by our laureates.” Dr. Montaner, who is also head of the Division of AIDS in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of British Columbia has spent his career dedicated to the care and management of HIV infected individuals and those at risk of HIV, creating advancements in the treatment and prevention of HIV and AIDS.

“I am very honoured and humbled to be chosen for this award,” says Dr. Montaner. “I am convinced with the help of my colleagues, our government and the public, we can bring this epidemic to its knees, not just in B.C. but worldwide. Indeed, we are on our way in B.C. and our strategy is the model the rest of the world is adopting. I share this acknowledgment with my colleagues at the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, whose contributions helped to create and refine new approaches to HIV and AIDS treatment. Our success in reducing new HIV infections, reducing morbidity and mortality would not be possible without them, and the support of our BC government, the University of British Columbia, Providence Health Care Research Institute, and Providence Health Care. All are partners in the fight against HIV and AIDS.”

Laureates are considered pioneers in their field, role models to young Canadians to pursue careers in health science, as well as a source of inspiration for all Canadians for their important contribution to global health.

Dr. Montaner’s work has directly contributed to the increased survival and dignity of people living with HIV and AIDS not only at home, but around the world. His list of accomplishments include pioneering the HIV cocktail, highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) and leading an international consortium of investigators to test its ability to send the disease into full and lasting remission. In 2000, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the UNAIDS program adopted HAART as the global standard of therapy. Dr. Montaner then developed the model of Treatment as Prevention (TasP), an expansion of HAART coverage to decrease the progression of HIV to AIDS and stop HIV transmission. By implementing TasP, B.C. has been the only Canadian province to demonstrate a consistent decline in new cases of HIV. In 2013 TasP was incorporated into the WHO Consolidated Antiretroviral Guidelines, and many other jurisdictions around the world have adopted it including China, France, Panama, Brazil, Spain, Sierra Leone and Queensland, Australia. Last week, the United Nations announced its 90-90-90 strategy aimed at ending the AIDS pandemic by 2030. 90-90-90 was developed by Dr. Montaner and based on the B.C. TasP model.

Dr. Montaner is currently looking to apply the successful TasP model to other infectious diseases, including Hepatitis C.

The Canadian Medical Hall of Fame was established in 1994 and is a partner of the Canadian Medical Association, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, and the College of Family Physicians of Canada. The 2015 induction ceremony is April 23, 2015 in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

About the British Columbia Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS
The BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS (BC-CfE) is Canada’s largest HIV/AIDS research, treatment and education facility and is internationally recognized as an innovative world leader in combating HIV/AIDS and related diseases. BC-CfE is based at St. Paul’s Hospital, Providence Health Care, a teaching hospital of the University of British Columbia. The BC-CfE works in close collaboration with key provincial stakeholders, including health authorities, health care providers, academics from other institutions, and the community to decrease the health burden of HIV and AIDS and to improve the health of British Columbians living with HIV through developing, monitoring and disseminating comprehensive research and treatment programs for HIV and related illnesses.

Established in 1994, The Canadian Medical Hall of Fame (CMHF) is a national charitable organization that fosters future generations of health professionals through the celebration of our country’s rich medical history, scholarship program, and the delivery of both local and nationwide education programs for youth. Each year, up to six individuals are recognized for their extraordinary contribution to improving the health of Canadians and people world-wide. The stories of the laureates are showcased on the website (www.cdnmedhall.org) and in the portrait gallery, exhibit hall and media theatre which are located in downtown London, ON.

For additional information, please contact:
Lisa Carver
T: 604-648-3451 C: 604-340-9351
E: Lisa.carver@edelman.com