We have learned that Dr. Julio Montaner, director of the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS (BC-CfE), at St. Paul’s Hospital, is one of six Canadian physicians nominated to the prestigious Canadian Medical Hall of Fame for 2015.
The Canadian Medical Hall of Fame Laureates are individuals whose outstanding contributions to medicine and the health sciences have led to extraordinary improvements in human health.
PositiveLite.com has interviewed Dr. Montaner on three separate occasions in the past and supports his efforts to bring treatment as prevention strategies (TasP) to Canada and to the world. We applaud his tenacity and passion for a cause he believes in as well as his commitment to the health and wellbeing of people living with HIV. We join in congratulating him on this recognition by his peers for his longstanding contribution to the fight against HIV.
While his strategies are still controversial in parts of Canada and his personal popularity amongst policy makers is uneven, particularly in Eastern Canada, (we have always found him warn and engaging) treatment as prevention is slowly creeping into mainstream prevention efforts throughout the country, in a variety of disguises.
Word is that the patients in his Vancouver HIV practice love him.
"The Canadian Medical Hall of Fame is proud to count Dr. Julio Montaner among Canada’s illustrious medical heroes," says Dr. Jean Gray, chair of The Canadian Medical Hall of Fame. "His contribution to health in Canada and the world is well documented and a wonderful example of the kind of passion, diligence and innovative thinking displayed by our laureates."
Here’s what Dr. Montaner said on receiving the nomination. . .
“I am very honoured and humbled to be chosen for this award. I am convinced with the help of my colleagues, our government and the public, we can bring this epidemic to its knees, not just in B.C. but worldwide. Indeed, we are on our way in B.C. and our strategy is the model the rest of the world is adopting. I share this acknowledgment with my colleagues at the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, whose contributions helped to create and refine new approaches to HIV and AIDS treatment. Our success in reducing new HIV infections, reducing morbidity and mortality would not be possible without them, and the support of our BC government, the University of British Columbia, Providence Health Care Research Institute, and Providence Health Care. All are partners in the fight against HIV and AIDS.”
The Brisish Columbia Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS said in a press release “Dr. Montaner’s work has directly contributed to the increased survival and dignity of people living with HIV and AIDS not only at home, but around the world. His list of accomplishments include pioneering the HIV cocktail, highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) and leading an international consortium of investigators to test its ability to send the disease into full and lasting remission. In 2000, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the UNAIDS program adopted HAART as the global standard of therapy. Dr. Montaner then developed the model of Treatment as Prevention (TasP), an expansion of HAART coverage to decrease the progression of HIV to AIDS and stop HIV transmission.
By implementing TasP, B.C. has been the only Canadian province to demonstrate a consistent decline in new cases of HIV.
In 2013 TasP was incorporated into the WHO Consolidated Antiretroviral Guidelines, and many other jurisdictions around the world have adopted it including China, France, Panama, Brazil, Spain, Sierra Leone and Queensland, Australia. Last week, the United Nations announced its 90-90-90 strategy aimed at ending the AIDS pandemic by 2030. 90-90-90 was developed by Dr. Montaner and based on the B.C. TasP model.
Dr. Montaner is currently looking to apply the successful TasP model to other infectious diseases, including Hepatitis C.”