As the centerpiece of the campaign, the 3-minute CHANGE HIVSTORY video explains how group action can help end HIV in Vancouver.
VANCOUVER, July 18, 2012 /CNW/ - Vancouver Coastal Health and Providence
Health Care unveiled a bold new campaign today to stop HIV in
Vancouver. CHANGE HIVSTORY makes Vancouver the epicenter of a movement
that will change history: the beginning of the end of HIV.
Building on the momentum of It's Different Now, an HIV awareness
campaign that helped increase testing rates in Vancouver by 37%, CHANGE
HIVSTORY aims to inspire and empower people via a social media campaign
featuring a moving and dramatic video. The campaign enables individuals
to power the movement, by encouraging every person who's ever been
sexually active to have an HIV test.
"CHANGE HIVSTORY is about creating a movement here in Vancouver to
change the course of history by changing the course of HIV," says Dr.
Réka Gustafson, Medical Health Officer and Medical Director of
Communicable Disease Control for Vancouver Coastal Health. "And with
people in Vancouver requesting HIV tests and doctors recommending them
as part of everyone's routine health care, we are getting closer to
making the end of HIV a reality."
"We already made history in June when St. Paul's Hospital was the first
emergency department in Canada to offer routine HIV testing to every
patient," says Scott Harrison, Program Director, Urban Health,
HIV/AIDS, at Providence Health Care. "Now, we want to change history on
a local and global level, and finally put an end to HIV. Forty per cent
of people infected with HIV in Vancouver are diagnosed late with
advanced HIV disease. By diagnosing people earlier, we can link them to
treatment sooner, ensuring optimal health outcomes for infected
individuals and greatly reducing the likelihood of transmission to
those not infected."
World-renowned HIV expert and Director of BC's Centre for Excellence in
HIV/AIDS (BC-CfE) at St. Paul's Hospital, Dr. Julio Montaner, says that
stopping HIV in its tracks is possible, especially since Highly Active
Anti-retroviral Therapy (HAART) treatment is available to all B.C.
residents for free. "The work we have undertaken at BC-CfE for the past
20 years has helped dramatically improve HIV treatment and proven,
without doubt, that HAART is highly effective in preventing the
transmission of HIV between people," said Dr. Montaner. "And if we can
stop the transmission, we can stop the disease. The world agrees, this
is the way forward - changing history is this simple."
An HIV positive person on their prescribed medication is 96 per cent
less likely to transmit the disease. It is estimated there are 3,500
people in British Columbia who are infected with HIV but don't know it.
The campaign also features print advertising and TV and radio
commercials, developed by FCV, a Vancouver-based interactive, digital
advertising agency. To learn more, visit www.itsdifferentnow.org. Local media outlets have generously donated more than $500,000 of free
ad space and air time, to help spread awareness.
The CHANGE HIVSTORY campaign is a part of BC-CfE pioneered Treatment as
Prevention strategy of which STOP HIV/AIDS (Seek and Treat for Optimal
Prevention of HIV/AIDS) is one component. STOP HIV/AIDS is a four-year,
$48-million pilot program funded by the British Columbia Ministry of
Health to improve access to HIV testing, treatment, and support
services in Vancouver and Prince George.
Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) is responsible for the delivery of $2.9
billion in community, hospital and residential care to more than one
million people in communities including Richmond, Vancouver, the North
Shore, Sunshine Coast, Sea to Sky corridor, Powell River, Bella Bella
and Bella Coola.
Providence Health Care (PHC) is one of Canada's largest faith-based
health care organizations, operating 16 health care facilities in
Greater Vancouver. PHC operates one of two adult academic health
science centres in the province, performs cutting-edge research in more
than 30 clinical specialties, and focuses its services on six
"populations of emphasis": cardio-pulmonary risks and illnesses,
HIV/AIDS, mental health, renal risks and illness, specialized needs in
aging and urban health and is home to the B.C. Centre
for Excellence in HIV/AIDS.
The BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS is Canada's largest HIV/AIDS
research, treatment and education facility and is internationally
recognized as an innovative world leader in combating HIV/AIDS and
related diseases. BC-CfE is based at St. Paul's Hospital, a teaching
hospital of the University of British Columbia. The BC-CfE works in
close collaboration with key provincial stakeholders, including health
authorities, health care providers, academics from other institutions,
and the community to decrease the health burden of HIV and AIDS and to
improve the health of British Columbians living with HIV through
developing, monitoring and disseminating comprehensive research and
treatment programs for HIV and related illnesses.
Video with caption: "As the centerpiece of the campaign, the 3-minute CHANGE HIVSTORY video explains how group action can help end HIV in Vancouver.". Video available at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YsXHsMFYuJg&feature=youtu.be
Image with caption: "World-renowned HIV specialist Dr. Julio Montaner unveils CHANGE HIVSTORY, a bold new campaign that aims to end HIV in Vancouver. (CNW Group/Vancouver Coastal Health and Providence Health Care)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20120718_C9327_PHOTO_EN_16323.jpg
Image with caption: "Volunteer receives a rapid HIV test, results revealed in 60 seconds. (CNW Group/Vancouver Coastal Health and Providence Health Care)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20120718_C9327_PHOTO_EN_16322.jpg
SOURCE Vancouver Coastal Health and Providence Health Care
For further information:
Public Affairs Specialist
Vancouver Coastal Health
Senior Media Relations Specialist
Providence Health Care
Phone: 604-682-2344 ext. 66987