Sunday marks World AIDS Day

Interior Health working with partners and physicians to reach Getting to Zero goal

On Dec. 1, communities around the world will celebrate World AIDS Day – a day dedicated to raising awareness about HIV prevention and treatment.

This year’s theme is “Getting to zero – zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination, and zero AIDS-related deaths.” That may seem like a tall order but Interior Health, community partners, and physicians are working together to implement a new program that has the potential to get there.

Seek and Treat for Optimal Prevention of HIV/AIDS reduces transmission by ensuring those living with HIV/AIDS know their HIV status and have access to the best care through expanded testing and engagement in prevention and treatment.

“Up to 26 per cent of B.C. residents who are infected with HIV are not aware of their infection and the majority of people who are newly infected with HIV are often getting it from people who didn’t know they had HIV to begin with,” said Dr. Trevor Corneil, a medical health officer and physician lead for STOP HIV.

“If more people know their HIV status and receive early treatment, the spread of the disease in our communities can be halted.”

Early diagnosis also means better outcomes. Advances in treatment mean that people who are HIV positive are living a much longer and near normal life.

“When an infection is identified early it can be managed as a chronic disease. Early treatment can prevent the virus from attacking the body and it can also prevent it from spreading to others,” said Corneil.

“STOP HIV engages family physicians in caring for HIV positive persons by giving them access to and support from HIV specialists. This ensures the best possible care is available throughout Interior Health.”

A team of health outreach nurses is also now available to support physicians, community agencies, and HIV positive clients in all Interior Health communities. The outreach nurses provide testing for HIV and related infections, referrals, counselling, medication support, as well as HIV education for individuals and groups.

Referrals to the team can be made by physicians, community organizations, or through self-referral by calling 1-866-778-7736.

 

 

Just Posted

Make a donation, get a free coffee at Vernon café

Bean to Cup is accepting donated items as part of Project Christmas Elf

WATCH: North Okanagan Knights score teddies for children in OT loss to Osoyoos

Russel Borrett’s early goal triggered the Teddy Bear Toss at Nor-Val Arena Friday night

Vernon Baseball to field high-level teams in spring 2020

Registration for the U18 Triple-A and U13 Double-A teams opens Monday

Vernon candle lighting to show compassion for lost children

The Compassionate Friends Worldwide Candle Lighting takes place Sunday, Dec. 8

Vernon Vipers go on scoring spree versus Merritt Centennials

Matt Kowalski had a hat trick and five points as the Vipers cruised to an 8-3 victory

VIDEO: Boys help rescue Cariboo bear cub

The cub, weighing just 24lbs, has been taken to wildlife sanctuary in Northwest B.C. for the winter

Campbell River mom’s iPhone containing priceless photos stolen from Victoria hospital parkade

The phone contained photos, heartbeat recordings of her late son

Miller nets winner as Canucks edge Sabres 6-5 in OT

Roussel, Leivo tally two apiece for Vancouver

‘Norovirus-like’ outbreak interrupts Bantam hockey showcase in Greater Victoria

Several athletes were sent home, quarantined on the ferry

South Okanagan volunteer dental clinic donates rotten teeth to good cause

H.E.C.K. recently gifted 47 rotten teeth to a search and rescue group in the area

$578: that’s how much your first distracted driving ticket will cost with recent premium hikes

Over 50 per cent of Canadians admitted to using phone while driving last year, according to study

Healing with honesty: Justice served 40 years later

Revelstoke senior gets house arrest for sexually assaulting stepdaughter

WorkSafe BC to investigate explosion at Princeton facility

Explosion at Envirogreen waste reclamation plant occurred Nov. 27

‘Things haven’t changed enough:’ Ecole Polytechnique anniversary prompts reflection

Fourteen women were fatally shot by a gunman at the Montreal school on Dec. 6, 1989

Most Read