Where Vancouver leads in LGBT progress: Local health professionals are at the world's forefront (Dr. Julio Montaner)

When it comes to LGBT health, Vancouver has been and continues to be at the forefront of medical developments, socially progressive initiatives, and humane responses in the face of discrimination.

A prime example is when the HIV/AIDS crisis hit Vancouver in the 1980s. As the epidemic ravaged the city’s queer male community during an era still entrenched in widespread homophobia, among the first to respond were local health-industry professionals, organizations, researchers, and volunteers from all walks of life. Their efforts initiated a B.C. medical movement that continues to be built upon to this day.

Meanwhile, Positive Living B.C.’s biannual AccolAIDS awards gala brings together provincial HIV-movement members to celebrate and honour the community’s outstanding people and organizations. Although there are too many to list, one celebrated individual is Dr. Julio Montaner, who received the Order of British Columbia and the Order of Canada, was inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame, and received the $100,000 Killam Prize in May for his lifetime devotion to the care and treatment of people with HIV/AIDS.

Craig Takeuchi reoprts

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