Dr. Julio Montaner
BC Premier Gordon Campbell, Dr. Julio Montaner, and Lieutenant Governor Steven L. Point
, director of the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, was one of fifteen extraordinary British Columbians who received the 2010 Order of British Columbia in a ceremony Thursday, Oct. 21, 2010 at Government House in Victoria.
The Order recognizes British Columbians who have made a difference, who have contributed with excellence and distinction, and whose contributions provide inspiration to everyone.
Dr. Montaner was recognized for his work in the development of a revolutionary strategy aimed to curb the growth of the HIV epidemic in British Columbia. The made-in-BC strategy known as “treatment as prevention” aims to utilize HIV medication called High Active Antiretroviral Therapy (HAART) to prevent HIV transmission through viral suppression. Recognized as the gold standard treatment for HIV, HAART uses a combination of drugs to stop HIV from progressing to AIDS, extends life expectancy, and significantly reduces HIV-related deaths in diagnosed individuals.
Hon. Ida Chong, Dr. Julio Montaner and Hon. Kevin Falcon
The BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, under the leadership of Dr. Montaner is currently implementing this bold new strategy in a pilot project in collaboration with the Province of British Columbia to Seek and Treat for Optimal Prevention of HIV/AIDS (STOP HIV/AIDS). As a direct result of this work, the province has already seen a decrease in new HIV diagnoses and a reduction in HIV related morbidity and mortality.
Now, with international leaders in the AIDS response endorsing the proposed global expansion of access to antiretroviral therapy, Dr. Montaner’s efforts stand to bring about a much-needed shift in the approach to managing the HIV/AIDS pandemic around the world. By continuing to advocate for universal access to HAART, Dr. Montaner aims to help prioritize “treatment as prevention” around the globe and bring vital life-saving therapies to the low- and middle-income countries where they are needed most urgently.
Other recipients of this year’s award are:
* Dr. Julio S.G. Montaner
of Vancouver – HIV clinician and researcher
* The Honourable Jacob “Jack” Austin
, P.C., Q.C., of Vancouver - lawyer, Senator emeritus
* Brad Bennett
of Kelowna – businessman, community volunteer and board member
* Dr. Robert Conrad Brunham
of Vancouver - professor and infectious disease specialist
* Dan Doyle
of Vancouver - provincial public servant, transportation engineer
* Jeneece Edroff
of Victoria – youth active in community service
* John Furlong
, O.C. of Vancouver – chief executive officer, Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games
* Robert (Bob) George Hindmarch
of Vancouver – amateur sports leader
* Chief Tony Hunt
of Victoria - First Nations artist and leader
* Milan Ilich
of Richmond - philanthropist, businessman
* Patricia Anna Mildred Leigh
of Vancouver - educator, Science Fair advocate
* Marco A. Marra
of Vancouver – genome scientist
* Christopher Duncan Rose
of Kamloops – educator focusing on children with autism
* Barbara Ward-Burkitt
of Prince George – Aboriginal community worker and volunteer
* Pauline (Hilistis) Waterfall
of Bella Bella – educator focusing on adult learning opportunities for First Nations
For more information click here to visit the Order of BC website
See more pictures from the event on the Province of British Columbia's Flickr Page