Beginning fall 2011, as part of the Seek and Treat for Optimal Prevention (STOP) of HIV/AIDS pilot project, all clinicians, residents and nurses began introducing routine HIV screening to their admitted patients at St. Paul’s Hospital, Vancouver General Hospital, Mount Saint Joseph Hospital and UBC Hospital, an HIV test with their routine bloodwork.
Routine testing for HIV in the general population is recommended because HIV should be diagnosed as early as possible after infection, in order to maintain health and prolong life, and to prevent transmission. In Vancouver, late diagnoses remains a significant problem as 65% of individuals newly diagnosed are diagnosed after they should be on treatment, and 20% are diagnosed with advanced HIV disease.
This pilot project is being phased in beginning with the Department of Medicine at the following locations:
- October 2011: Departments of Medicine at SPH, MSJ & VGH; Department of Surgery at SPH & MSJ; Kidney Clinic at SPH
- April 2012: Department of Psychiatry at VGH; Colposcopy Clinic at VGH; Kidney Clinic at VGH
- May 2012: Emergency Department at SPH
- June 2012: Department of Surgery at VGH and UBCH; Department of Psychiatry at UBCH
- July 2012: Emergency Department at VGH
Most people newly diagnosed with HIV have had many missed opportunities in health care for HIV diagnosis. In fact, there are approximately 3,500 people in BC, who are infected but don’t know it.
- Most patients are at very low risk and will have a negative test result, but everyone who has ever been sexually active is at some risk of HIV.
- Early diagnosis and treatment can allow HIV positive individuals to live long, healthy lives.
- By implementing routine, provider initiated testing we will help reduce the stigma associated with HIV testing and improve testing uptake.
- Like diabetes, there is no cure for HIV, but people with HIV who are diagnosed and treated, can stay healthy and are less likely to pass the virus on to others because the amount of virus in the body can be controlled by medication.
Resources for physicians and nurses
Download posters in English
Download posters in other languages
Read the FAQs
About the STOP HIV/AIDS Pilot Project
STOP HIV/AIDS is a pilot project to expand HIV testing, treatment and support services to clinically eligible individuals in British Columbia.
The initial four-year pilot phase is supported by a $48-million funding commitment by the Government of British Columbia to Vancouver Coastal Health, Northern Health, the Provincial Health Services Authority, Providence Health Care, and the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS.
The STOP HIV/AIDS pilot phase is taking place in Vancouver's inner city and Prince George.
These regions have been identified as priority sites for the pilot project, as they represent a majority of British Columbia's HIV cases and display increasing rates of HIV/AIDS.
Contact us if you have any questions about HIV testing at acute care sites, or would like any further materials, email Afshan Nathoo, Practice Consultant, HIV Acute Care Testing, at