It is now 35 years since the discovery of AIDS but its origins continue to be puzzling. Looking back to the early 20th-century events in Africa, scientists traced the emergence of the HIV/AIDS epidemic from its transmission from chimpanzees to man, and uncovered how colonial medical campaigns to eradicate tropical diseases started the spread of the virus, and how urbanization and prostitution had a disastrous effect later on to amplify the epidemic from West Africa to Kinshasa, then to the rest of Africa, to Haiti and ultimately worldwide.
In 2017, where are we with the fight against HIV/AIDS, globally, in Canada and close to us in British Columbia? Thanks to unprecedented progress in medical treatment, HIV is now considered a manageable chronic disease. Moreover, antiretroviral treatment is extremely effective in preventing transmission of the virus. Even though people living with HIV nowadays can have a healthy life and less fear of infecting their partners and children, the stigma continues to be rampant. Is there hope for a vaccine or a cure? Can HIV ever be eradicated?
Ariane Alimenti, pediatric HIV expert, has cared for children impacted by HIV since the beginning of the HIV epidemic in 1985, first as a pediatric trainee in Belgium and, since 2000, at the Oak Tree Clinic at BC Women’s Hospital and Health Centre. The multidisciplinary team at the Oak Tree clinic provides specialized care for women living with HIV/AIDS and their children. With adequate care and treatment, transmission of HIV from mother to child is preventable and living with HIV has become a chronic, manageable disease. However, youth continue to face numerous challenges and stigma as they are growing into adulthood.
Please RSVP by April 9th, 2017 to firstname.lastname@example.org or, preferably, EventBrite.
April 12, 2017 at 7:00pm
Kitsilano Community Centre - Snowey's Lounge - (2690 Larch St, Vancouver, BC)
Doors open at 6:45pm. Parking is available at/near the community centre.
Admission by donation. Q&A and complimentary refreshments follow. Registration is highly recommended as seating is limited. RSVP at email@example.com or at EventBrite by May 28th, 2016.
May 16, 2017
The first event of ARPICO's 2017 activity is one month old already, but I still have very fresh memories of the very interesting lecture by Dr. Ariane Alimenti. With her elegantly understated, but captivating demeanor Ariane managed to keep the interest alive and fresh for a good hour on the story of HIV/AIDS, its "arrival" in the human organism, its tragic worldwide spread over the past 40 years. She enlightened us on the current and potential future state of the disease ably weaving a web of scientific findings and breakthroughs intertwined with non-technical, yet pertinent anecdotes. The attentive stare of the audience in the room as well as the lively Q & A session were testimony to Ariane's ability to keep a non-specialistic group glued to her every word and enthralled in a topic that, while extremely relevant particularly for Vancouver over the past several decades, does not necessarily make it to the top ten list of things to listen to on a week night.
Personally, I feel privileged that Ariane has accepted to be ARPICO's inaugural speaker this year and that we can count her among our members.
This brief follow up message would be incomplete if I did not mention that we were honoured to have our own Consul General of Italy, Massimiliano Iacchini, not only attend with interest, but also briefly introduce the event and kindly touching upon the increasing relevance of ARPICO and its activities for the local Italian community.
Thanks to all who kindly made time to attend; I do hope to see you all at our next events and that this good beginning bodes well for the rest of this year's events.