B.C. is first Canadian region to encourage routine HIV testing for adults

Once labelled absurd, the idea of mass testing of adults for HIV and AIDS is now part of the routine in British Columbia, proving the province is showing the world how to control and defeat the cruel disease, says the doctor leading the program.

The B.C. government announced Monday it will become the first jurisdiction in Canada to introduce guidelines for health-care providers to encourage all adult British Columbians to get tested for HIV.

“What at one time was perceived as a crazy idea – normalizing HIV testing – today becomes a reality for all British Columbians.,” said Julio Montaner, the director at the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS. “B.C. continues to be the model that the United Nations AIDS program is using to show the world how HIV and AIDS can be actually controlled and brought to its knees.”

The guidelines, part of an effort to diagnose those infected with HIV sooner to get them life-saving treatment, include offering HIV testing as part of the regular routine of testing adult patients.

Dirk Meissner Reports

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