AIDS. It’s a loaded word for many people in Canada, especially gay men. In the 1980s, hearing a doctor say “you have AIDS” immediately inspired fear, and most often led to a rapid health decline characterized by suffering, grief, and ultimately, death.
Thankfully, a lot of progress in HIV treatment has been made in the past four decades.
As Dr. Paul MacPherson, an Infectious disease specialist and scientist in the Clinical Epidemiology Program at The Ottawa Hospital put it, “The treatment of HIV has improved so remarkably that we’ve shifted from acute treatment of an illness that led to death, to living alongside people, managing their health, and now looking very much at HIV prevention.”
In honour of World AIDS day, we take a look back at how The Ottawa Hospital played a major role in caring for patients with HIV, how it continues to lead life-saving research, and how it is transforming how HIV is managed today.
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