B.C. steps up in HIV treatment (Dr. Julio Montaner)

B.C. spends more than $100 million a year providing anti-HIV drugs free to eligible patients, helping boost the uptake to 85 per cent of those with HIV on Vancouver Island.

Only four years ago, just 56 per cent of B.C.’s HIV patients received highly active anti-retroviral treatment, which plays a major role in reducing transmission of the virus, said Dr. Julio Montaner, director of the B.C. Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS.

HAART drugs, which Montaner helped pioneer, reduce the viral load in people with HIV to undetectable levels, he said.

Katherine Dedyna reports

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