St. Paul's was one of the first hospitals in Canada to treat HIV/AIDS patients - and today it is one of the world's leading clinical and research centres for this disease, providing care to more than 65% of the seropositive people in the province. A 25-bed ward provides care to inpatients receiving treatment for HIV/AIDS and its complications. Outpatients are served through the John Ruedy Immunodeficiency Clinic.

The hospital is home to the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS and the Canadian HIV Trials Network. The Centre for Excellence provides education to health care providers, conducts natural history and observational studies, develops innovative laboratory tests, and carries out clinical trials. Its drug program is at the core of the Centre's activities. HIV-positive persons living in British Columbia receive their antiretroviral drugs free of charge when in enrolled in this program.

Since 1986, thousands of HIV-positive persons have received antiretroviral therapy at St. Paul's, and the hospital's residency program was the first in Canada to give physicians the opportunity to learn about treating this complex disease.

St. Paul’s Hospital now offers point of care HIV testing for patients, staff, and/or visitors. This rapid, confidential, and free HIV test provides the same accuracy as the conventional blood test and gives you your results within 60 seconds. The tests are made available through the BC Provincial initiative “Seek and Treat for Optimal Prevention of HIV/AIDS” (also known as STOP HIV/AIDS). Testing is available Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. For a point of care HIV test call 604-561-4896. A certified HIV nurse will answer the call and arrange a time and place for a discrete, confidential, rapid, and free HIV test. Click here for more information.

Routine HIV Screening

As part of the provincially funded Seek and Treat for Optimum Prevention (STOP) HIV/AIDS pilot project, the Acute Care HIV Testing Initiative introduced routine HIV screening into the four hospitals in Vancouver: St. Paul’s Hospital, Mount Saint Joseph, Vancouver General Hospital and University of British Columbia Hospital in October 2011. Clinicians including physicians, residents and nurses will recommend and offer an HIV test to all patients who receive routine blood-work.

Routine HIV screening in the general population is being recommended because it is now recognized that HIV should be diagnosed as early as possible after infection in order to maintain health and prolong life for those infected, 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. In addition,

The STOP HIV/AIDS project is encouraging routine HIV testing through two routes:



Learn more about the overall STOP HIV/AIDS project.


 Positive Test Algorithm