Providence Health Care is a leader in HIV/AIDS innovation, care, treatment teaching and research.


Our HIV/AIDS program delivers 11 per cent of all HIV/AIDS care in Canada, giving it the largest caseload of any hospital in the country. We are the referral centre for HIV-positive people individuals in the province and provide comprehensive assessment, treatment, education and research across all of our services. Since 1986, thousands of HIV-positive patients have received antiretroviral therapy at St. Paul’s Hospital, and our residency program was the first in Canada to give physicians the opportunity to learn about treating this complex disease.

Acute HIV/AIDS Care

While the majority of acutely ill patients are admitted to our dedicated inpatient unit, we continue to provide services to HIV-positive patients in all clinical areas of the hospital, including medicine, surgery and mental health and palliative care. Services include:

  • HIV/AIDS Unit – A 24-bed inpatient unit to assess, treat, and manage patients who are acutely medically ill and HIV-positive. The only one of its kind in Canada.
  • Integrated, specialist care – Social workers, occupational therapists, physiotherapists and nurses with experience and education in the particular needs of people living with HIV.
  • Addiction Consult Team – Providing general addictions assessment and treatment consults at St. Paul’s, with a particular emphasis on the care of injection drug users, many of whom are HIV-positive.

Primary Care Services

The John Ruedy Immunodeficiency Clinic provides primary care to more than 2,000 people living with HIV. Services include:

  • HIV primary care
  • Hepatitis C/HIV Positive Co-infection Clinic
  • Addiction Treatment and Support Team
  • Specialist clinics
  • Mental Health response team
  • Therapeutic drug monitoring
  • Expanded Access to Antiretroviral Medication Program

Rapid HIV Testing

St. Paul’s offers point-of-care HIV testing for patients, staff, and visitors. This rapid, confidential, and free HIV test provides the same accuracy as the conventional blood test, providing results within 60 seconds. The tests are made available through the British Columbia provincial initiative – Seek and Treat for Optimal Prevention of HIV/AIDS (STOP HIV/AIDS). Testing is available Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. For a point-of-care HIV test call 604-561-4896. Click here for more information.

HIV Testing While in Hospital

As part of the STOP HIV/AIDS pilot project, all physicians routinely offer their admitted patients (excluding palliative care and Intensive Care Unit patients) at St. Paul’s or Mount Saint Joseph Hospital an HIV test with their blood-work. For more information, click here.


BC Centre for Excellence HIV/AIDS

Located at St. Paul’s Hospital, the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS (BC-CfE) is a leading scientific and research organization which is internationally recognized for pioneering important initiatives such as therapeutic guidelines for the treatment of HIV and early use of double or triple drug combination regimes. All research is affiliated with the University of British Columbia (UBC). Mandates of the centre include:

  • Funding and distributing AIDS related medication across the province.
  • Viral and epidemiological research.
  • Education for health professionals and undergraduate students.

Canadian HIV Trials Network

Jointly sponsored by UBC and St. Paul’s, the CIHR Canadian HIV Trials Network (CTN) is a partnership of clinical investigators, physicians, nurses, people living with HIV/AIDS, pharmaceutical manufacturers and others to facilitate HIV clinical trials of the highest scientific and ethical standards.

A Career in HIV

Nurses and allied professionals have numerous opportunities to develop their HIV/AIDS knowledge base through interaction with local experts as well as attendance at weekly AIDS care rounds and twice yearly provincial HIV/AIDS updates offered by the BC-CfE Centre. For more information about career opportunities visit our careers site.


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