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Dr. Thomas Kerr, left, and Dr. Julio Montaner are shown in 2008 talking about Vancouver's controversial supervised drug injection site, saying it helps reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS. Montaner will receive an international award for his work in fighting the disease, it was announced recently. ((CBC))

B.C. scientist Dr. Julio Montaner has won an international award honouring his work to increase testing and treatment for HIV.

Montaner will receive the Albert Einstein World Award of Science granted by the President of the World Cultural Council.

"Dr. Montaner has pioneered the life-saving concept of 'treatment as prevention,' which aims to dramatically increase testing and treatment for HIV using the best available diagnostic tools and medications," the council said on its website. 

Montaner, director of the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS in Vancouver, proposed expanding free access to drug therapies for everyone infected with HIV to dramatically reduce the spread of the virus.

The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS or UNAIDS cited Montaner's findings as the basis for its new approach to HIV treatment, called Treatment 2.0.

The awarding organization includes eminent scientists and educators, including several Nobel Prize winners.

The award will be granted at a ceremony in Mexico on Dec. 8.

With files from The Canadian Press