BC hospital is not shutting down AIDS ward

Dear Editor: 

I read with great interest the SGN story, BC hospital shuts down AIDS ward for lack of patients (SGN, June 13) when I was recently in Seattle doing book research. 

Why I need to comment on this story written by Mike Andrew - great writing btw - is two-fold: I have been on the staff at St. Paul's Hospital for the past six plus years. Vancouver's inner city hospital is on the edge of the West End, the city's Gay neighborhood. And secondly, I have been a health care provider over the past 30 plus years in hospitals, home care and hospices dealing with and taking care of people living with HIV/AIDS. 

This ward is NOT shutting down. It's just that it is doesn't have the number of AIDS patients like it did during the pandemic years of the 1980s and '90s. It is still open, and it still takes people living with HIV/AIDS. Although not the numbers as in the past. 

Buried in the story is the quote from Dr. Julio Montaner, former president of the International AIDS Society and Director of the BC Centre for Excellence (BC-CfE) in HIV/AIDS at St. Paul's: Today ward 10C will provide treatment, support and care for those living with HIV-related issues. 

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