From the CBC website:
The British Columbia Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS is taking its successful "treatment as prevention" program to China to help stem the spread of the disease.
The head of the program is hoping the expansion of the treatment plan worldwide will embarrass the Canadian government into adopting the same plan across our country.
Dr. Julio Montaner says China, Brazil, France, the United States and several countries in Africa are in the process of emulating the program that has virtually conquered the disease in British Columbia.
But Montaner says he has constantly been rebuffed by federal officials at home and he wonders if the Canadian government would treat the issue the same way if it were another disease such as breast cancer or the flu.
From the British Columbia Centre for Excellence:
Vancouver, B.C. (November, 2013)—China and British Columbia are partnering to advance the global fight against HIV/AIDS through the further implementation of the made-in-B.C. HIV Test and Treat strategy, also referred to as Treatment as Prevention.
While in Beijing, China, on her government’s current trade mission, Premier Christy Clark signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the National Centre for AIDS/STD Control and Prevention, Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCAIDS/China CDC) and the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS (BC-CfE). The MoU cements the relationship between China and the BC-CfE, which first began when China announced its implementation of the Test and Treat (Treatment as Prevention) strategy in 2011.
“This partnership affirms our government’s commitment to showcase and share the world-leading expertise of the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS,” said Premier Clark. “We’re pleased British Columbia’s innovation and research is being recognized internationally, especially here in China. This exchange will allow us to mutually promote and collaborate on health priorities affecting China, British Columbia, and the global community in relation to HIV/AIDS.”
The MoU formalizes a collaboration to develop new research and HIV programs, and will establish a three-year HIV fellowship program that will allow top Chinese scientists to come to Vancouver to work with researchers and clinicians at the BC-CfE.
The organizations will work jointly to respectively improve the health of British Columbians and Chinese citizens to enhance capacity to deliver HIV/AIDS education and training to health professionals. The partnership aims to protect and improve the health of people by eliminating HIV/AIDS through science, policy, partnership, and evidence-based public health action.
“British Columbia has been an international leader in developing a model of the Test and Treat strategy, also referred to as Treatment as Prevention, to combat HIV/AIDS,” said Dr. Zunyou Wu, Director, NCAIDS/China CDC. “This agreement deepens the working relationship between China and B.C. We believe this agreement will provide an opportunity for our researchers to work with and share expertise to best help both B.C. and China meet our goal of bringing HIV and AIDS under control.”
China was the first country to adopt the BC-CfE’s model as their national HIV/AIDS policy. The strategy involves widespread HIV testing and immediate offer of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) to people living with HIV. Treatment has been shown to virtually eliminate progression of the disease to AIDS and premature death, and simultaneously stop transmission of the virus.
The new fellowship will focus on research related to Test and Treat (Treatment as Prevention). In addition to the fellowship, the BC-CfE and NCAIDS/China CDC will develop and implement cost-effective research and therapeutic protocols and programs for the treatment of HIV and related diseases.
“We look forward to working with China to ensure Test and Treat (Treatment as Prevention) is implemented globally based on the best available scientific evidence,” said Dr. Julio Montaner, director of the BC-CfE. “Following the lead of British Columbia and China, the momentum is building to implement this strategy to save lives, prevent infections, and, in the long-term, save money. The global adoption of Test and Treat (Treatment as Prevention) holds the promise of ending HIV and AIDS in our lifetime.”
Brazil and France both recently announced plans to adopt the strategy as their national policies. In 2012, the U.S. has identified it as a key strategy to achieve an AIDS-free generation, and in July 2013, the World Health Organization fully incorporated the strategy in their new Global HIV Treatment Guidelines.
Note: PositievLite.com has interviewed Dr Montaner about treatment as prevention on two separate occasions . Read those interviews here, . . .
First interview part one.
First interview part two.
Talking treatment as prevention.