BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS

Closing of St. Paul's Hospital’s AIDS ward is symbolic of progress

For more than a decade, Ward 10C was ground zero in Canada’s struggle against the AIDS epidemic.

An otherwise sterile and unremarkable room within Vancouver’s St. Paul’s Hospital, Ward 10C was a place where patients came to die. The generic name was code for the hospital’s AIDS unit.

Success morphs St. Paul's Hospital's AIDS ward

British Columbia Premier Christy Clark, right, embraces Dr. Julio Montaner, director for the B.C. Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, after announcing the dedicated AIDS ward at St. Paul's Hospital would no longer just treat patients with HIV/AIDS because of a lack of demand due to the success of the centre, during a news conference in Vancouver, B.C., on Tuesday May 27, 2014.

A Vancouver hospital ward once so stigmatized it was only referred to by code name has been transformed from an AIDS-dedicated centre now the illness has been “virtually controlled” in the province.

St. Paul’s Hospital in the city’s core is repurposing the floor that nursing staff would only identify as “10C,” because of a near-elimination of AIDS cases in British Columbia and the associated drop in need for high-maintenance HIV care.

BC Center for Excellence in HIV/AIDS study critiques Vancouver’s prostitution policies

Photos By Dave King

A recent study has concluded that the Nordic Model of prostitution laws could endanger sex trade workers even further and does not affect the demand for prostitution.

The Nordic Model, originating in Nordic nations such as Norway and Sweden, criminalizes the act of buying sex but not selling it — johns and pimps are prosecuted rather than sex trade workers themselves.

VPD issue warning after increase in all addiction-related emergency room visits at St. Paul's Hospital

Police are warning drug users to be “extremely cautious” after seven people were reported to have overdosed on heroin Tuesday.

The suspected overdoses occurred in the Downtown Eastside, according to a news release from Sgt. Randy Fincham, a VPD spokesman.

The warning urged users to inject at Insite, where there are medical personnel on hand.

“If you are a drug user who has used and don’t feel well, seek medical attention or help immediately,” he said.

Fincham asked anyone who sees someone in medical distress to call 911.

Matthew Robinson Reports

Police are advising drug users to use the services of Vancouver's supervised injection site​ Insite

Police in Vancouver are warning drug users to be extremely cautious after receiving seven reports of suspected heroin overdoses in the city's Downtown Eastside.

Sgt. Randy Fincham confirmed some of the overdoses took place at Insite, Vancouver's supervised injection site. But police are still advising injection drug users to use Insite because it has medical staff available to help in the event of an overdose.

BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS reports suggest prostitution laws targeting clients likely unconstitutional

A PAIR OF reports out today (June 3) outline health and legal arguments for a possible next step in the decriminalization of sex work in Canada.

The first, drafted by researchers at the B.C. Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS (BCCFE), examines the consequences for the health and safety of sex workers when antiprostitution laws are enforced against clients. The second, drafted by Pivot Legal Society and Sex Workers United Against Violence, provides a legal analysis of those implications, and concludes that laws targeting clients “likely” violate the rights of sex workers.

Criminalizing johns endangers sex workers, B.C. Centre for Excelence in HIV/AIDS study says

A B.C. study suggests criminalizing johns endangers sex workers and fails to eradicate the demand for paid sex.

Thirty-one Vancouver sex workers were interviewed for the study, published Tuesday in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) Open, following the Vancouver Police Department’s implementation of a new policy in January, 2013, that cracked down on clients instead of sex workers. This approach, known as the Nordic model, is expected to underpin the federal government’s new bill on prostitution laws, which should be introduced this week.

B.C. Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS researcher releases new book titled: Homelessness & Health in Canada

Ryan McNeil, an SFU postdoctoral researcher, hopes health care providers and policy makers dig deep into a new book he has co-authored to improve health care for Canada’s approximately 200,000 homeless people.

A first in Canada

Homelessness & Health in Canada, published by the University of Ottawa Press, is the first book in Canada to explore how social, structural and environmental factors shape the health of Canada’s homeless.

McNeil is a health scientist affiliated with the Urban Health Research Initiative at the B.C. Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS.

Top HIV/AIDS researcher Dr. Julio Montaner slams Ottawa for ignoring B.C.'s successful treatment

For Dr. Julio Montaner, this week's closure of the dedicated AIDS ward at St. Paul's Hospital in Vancouver carried double-edged symbolism.

The director of the B.C. Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS helped shape the pioneering treatments that have cut AIDS cases so sharply that the ward is no longer necessary. But he remains frustrated that B.C.'s proven strategy, dubbed treatment as prevention, isn't being adopted elsewhere in Canada.

He blames Ottawa for failing to lead the fight against what he considers a national epidemic.

Dr. Evan Wood of the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS joins CBC Radio

A lack of demand has the ward dedicated to HIV/AIDS treatment at St. Paul's Hospital closing. Dr. Evan Wood is with the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS and Maxine Davis is the Executive Director of the Dr. Peter AIDS Foundation.

Click here to listen to the interview

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