The province of British Columbia has seen encouraging results in the use of HIV/AIDS treatment as a way to prevent new cases of infection. The data was presented by Julio Montaner and Evan Wood of the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS at the University of British Columbia.
In the mid-90s, Vancouver had one of the highest HIV infection rates in the developed world. Infections were more concentrated in Vancouver’s notorious downtown eastside – about 10 blocks east of this year’s AAAS meetings. This made the neighbourhood, with a large number of intravenous drug users (IDU), an ideal living laboratory in which to study possible solutions to the epidemic.
The treatment that emerged as the most effective is highly active antiretroviral therapy, known as HAART. From the time HIV/AIDS was first discovered in the mid-80s until the early to mid-90s, the mortality rate as well as the rate of new infections in British Columbia increased steadily. From about 1993 to 2003, the province saw a rapid decrease in the death rate, as well as improved life expectancy among the HIV-positive population. Read More