30 years in, Canada turning from leader to laggard in HIV/AIDS research

Photo by John Lehmann/The Globe and Mail

Friday, June 03, 2011

Three decades after AIDS first collided with, then consumed Julio Montaner’s career, he still can’t get his words out quickly enough. He speaks in cascades, with the urgency of someone in danger of losing his audience.

But he has a much easier time getting people to listen to him now than he did even 10 years ago.

AIDS turns 30 this week – a milestone for a shape-shifting disease that specializes in targeting each society’s most powerless populations.

It’s also a milestone for the Argentinean-Canadian doctor, who was the first clinician in Canada to dedicate himself to solving the riddle of HIV/AIDS, long before becoming celebrated internationally as a research pioneer. He’s head of the B.C. Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS and past president of the International AIDS Society.

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