When the B.C. Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS opened in 1992, a British Columbian was dying from AIDS almost every day. While current advances in HIV treatment have made the disease a chronic but manageable illness, much work remains to be done.
An estimated 13,000 British Columbians are HIV infected, with close to 350 new cases reported each year. As well, more than 3,200 cases of AIDS have been reported in the province, and a third of these individuals currently live with the disease.
Drug resistance, adverse effects to medication, and barriers to accessing treatment and maintaining adherence are just a few of the many issues facing those who are HIV-positive. More importantly, people are still dying from the disease.
The B.C. Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS is dedicated to improving the health of British Columbians with HIV through the development, ongoing monitoring and dissemination of comprehensive research and treatment programs for HIV and related diseases. The Centre is a key provincial resource, serving all health authorities, regions and citizens of B.C. The Centre places the disease under the microscope, provides care and treatment to those infected, educates doctors and healthcare professionals throughout the province, and promotes evidence-based social policy that helps protect people from acquiring the virus.