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. 

St. Paul's Hospital shuts down AIDS ward for lack of patients

St. Paul's Hospital in Vancouver, British Columbia, announced May 27 that it will shut down its dedicated AIDS ward because there are no longer enough patients to keep it open. 

Ward 10C opened in February 1997 during the peak of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Vancouver, when one person was dying of AIDS every day. 

'It was not that long ago that HIV/AIDS was a death sentence and those who came to this ward at St. Paul's were here to die,' said Dr. Julio Montaner, Director for the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS based at St. Paul's. 

Special AIDS ward no longer needed at St. Paul's Hospital

A Vancouver hospital ward once so stigmatized it was only referred to by code name is shedding its past thanks to a steady reduction of AIDS cases.

Premier Christy Clark has said Ward 10C at St. Paul’s Hospital will no longer be dedicated to the disease because it’s not needed.

She says the ward is being repurposed from a place where patients went expecting to die to a treatment centre for a chronic, manageable, long-term illness.

Click here to read the full story

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.

Vancouver teenager makes progress in HIV prevention

A 15-year-old high school student has gotten a head start on her scientific career by developing an early-stage HIV infection test.

Simon Fraser University said the test designed by Nicole Ticea is “nearly as simple as a pregnancy test” and could be invaluable in remote parts of the world, particularly Africa.

The development earned Ticea, a student at York House independent school, first place in the B.C. Regional Sanofi BioGENEius Challenge Canada.

Jeremy Nuttall Reports

Having HIV and a healthy baby

Julie is expecting her first baby. With less than a month to go before becoming a mother, the South Shore resident is concerned with the usual things: baby names, comfortable sleeping positions and nursery colours. Julie is HIV-positive, and she and her husband are proof that the virus doesn’t have to end the dream of parenthood.

“I am not worried about my baby becoming infected,” she says over the phone, the smile evident in her voice. “I am just excited.”

An AIDS cure for kids? A cautionary tale

A Canadian preschooler who doctors hoped was essentially cured of HIV experienced a swift resurgence of the virus after being taken off medication, an outcome researchers are calling a “cautionary tale” for scientists trying to wipe out the disease in its youngest sufferers.

The 3-year-old was one of five Canadian children that a team of pediatric HIV-AIDS researchers in this country identified after hearing the astonishing story of the Mississippi baby, an American girl, now 3, who appears to have been “functionally cured” of the virus that causes AIDS.

HIV Cases A Public Health Problem, Not Criminal One: Experts

A group of infectious disease experts is pushing back against Canada's justice system, arguing that non-disclosure of HIV infection to a sexual partner should not be grounds for criminal prosecution.

In a consensus statement presented Friday at the Canadian Conference on HIV/AIDS Research in St. John's, the six HIV experts said the latest scientific evidence shows the risk of sexually transmitting the virus varies from low to zero in many cases.

BC Center for Excellence in HIV/AIDS involved in study tracing HIV adaptation to its human host

“Much research has focused on how HIV adapts to antiviral drugs – we wanted to investigate how HIV adapts to us, its human host, over time,” says lead author Zabrina Brumme from Simon Fraser University.

U.S. announces aids virus has been isolated

EDITOR'S NOTE: In 1981, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported the first cases of a rare pneumonia that had sickened five Los Angeles gay men. The AIDS epidemic had begun.

Over the next three years, the CDC formally named the condition and announced that sexual contact and infected blood were the major ways the disease spread.


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