VICTORIA — The British Columbia government says the number of new annual HIV cases has reached a record low.
“Today on the occasion of World AIDS Day I’m proud to share that British Columbia marks record low cases of HIV/AIDS and that we’re at a moment in BC history where we can say that the HIV/AIDS crisis has transitioned from an epidemic to chronic diseas management,” says Adrian Dix, Minister of Health.
There were 208 new cases of the virus in 2018, a steady decline from 437 cases in 2004, according to the province.
Dix attributes much of the decline to work by the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS and other local health advocates.
“[credit goes to] the many people who have been activists on this, and all of those who have lost family members and friends. While that leads us to be sombre, it also brings us to a moment today of real hope for the future.
One of the centre’s latest projects has been the establishment of a lab on Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside to support ongoing research for people living with the virus, while working on new techniques to eliminate the disease.
There are an estimated total of 7,271 British Columbians living with HIV.