Premier John Horgan has issued the following statement in recognition of World AIDS Day on Dec. 1, 2017:
“On World AIDS Day, British Columbians acknowledge people living with HIV/AIDS, remember loved ones we have lost and recognize those leading the fight toward eliminating this disease.
“Spearheaded by the work of Dr. Julio Montaner and the B.C. Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, B.C. is a leader in research, prevention and treatment for people living with HIV/AIDS. From the 90-90-90 United Nations program on HIV/AIDS, to the world-renowned Treatment as Prevention strategy that originated from B.C.-based research and was implemented through the Seek and Treat for Optimal Prevention of HIV/AIDS program, we continue to support and encourage innovative approaches to HIV treatment and prevention.
“As a province, we are proud that HIV/AIDS-related deaths in B.C. have decreased by more than 90% since 1996 and that the number of people diagnosed with a new HIV infection continues to drop. Thanks to the efforts and dedication of countless people working in this field, more British Columbians are offered an HIV test, giving people the opportunity to know their HIV status and receive early treatment, care and support. Early diagnosis gives people living with HIV better quality of life and reduces the risk of passing the virus on to others.
“We are grateful to every researcher, medical practitioner and health-care worker who supports patients living with or vulnerable to HIV. And we thank every community organization that works to raise awareness and fight stigma and discrimination.
“Today, we stand with the United Nations and the rest of Canada to renew our commitment towards an AIDS-free world.”