Today the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS is marking 20 years of research and advancement in the fight to end HIV and AIDS. The Centre was founded on March 16, 1992, and since that date, they have played a key role in halting the spread of HIV and AIDS in Canada and around the world.
Researchers at the Centre have achieved much in the past 20 years: they developed highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), a drug cocktail that has been adopted in Canada and worldwide as the gold standard treatment for HIV. They also pioneered the strategy of Treatment as Prevention, an approach that recommends universal testing and expanded access to HAART for individuals who are found to be HIV-positive and medically eligible. This prevents the virus from progressing to AIDS, and protects other members of the community in the process.
The 20th anniversary will be marked with an event remembering the victims of HIV and AIDS, and paying tribute to the Centre's partners in BC and around the world. Speakers will include Austria's Ambassador to Canada, Werner Brandstetter, Professor Stephen Toope, President and Vice-Chancellor of UBC, and Providence Health Care CEO Dianne Doyle.
Many people are celebrating with the Centre on Twitter, including James Moore, the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages. Here's what he had to say:
Impressive accomplishments over the past 2 decades as the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS marks 20 years soc.li/w293u8i— James Moore (@JamesMoore_org) March 16, 2012
The Centre's director, Dr. Julio Montaner, will also be at the event. Dr. Montaner has been in the red chair in the past, speaking to George about the worldwide fight against AIDS and HIV. Check out that conversation below: