Posts Tagged ‘vancouver’

Unique Vancouver clinic provides comfort to HIV/AIDS patients Read it on Global News: Tucked away in a corner of St. Paul’s Hospital in downtown Vancouver is a one of a kind clinic for HIV/AIDS patients.

Sunday, August 5th, 2012

Global Edmonton

VANCOUVER – Tucked away in a corner of St. Paul’s Hospital in downtown Vancouver is a one of a kind clinic.

The waiting room at the John Ruedy Immunodeficiency Clinic (IDC) is filled with people from all walks of life – professionals, students, mothers, fathers, and grandparents. Some come from middle-class families, others from one of Canada’s poorest neighbourhoods – Vancouver’s downtown eastside. And many who come here have left unspeakable abuse and torture and come to Canada as refugees.

But there is one thing they all share in common – they have all been diagnosed with HIV.

Unlike in the 1980s when this clinic first opened its doors, living with HIV today means just that: living.

With tireless research into finding – not just a cure – but better treatments to live with the disease, people who test positive are no longer sentenced to death. Many live healthy, full lives with new drug treatments that make their viral counts almost undetectable.

It’s a message clinical nurse Carole Kellman, who has worked on the front lines of HIV care in Vancouver for more than 20 years, is dedicated to getting across. “I’ve always had that passion to keep pushing the envelope, keep raising awareness,” she tells Global News.

Despite advances in care, people living with HIV still have to pay more attention to their health than the average Canadian living without the disease. As a result, the clinic doesn’t just have doctors and nurses, but counsellors, nutritionists and social workers as well. It’s the only clinic in Canada to offer this kind of care under one roof.

Patient comfort is obviously a top priority. Staff don’t just treat the medical conditions caused by HIV, but also the other issues that come with living positive.

“We look at patients not just in terms of their blood work. We see them as more than just their HIV. They are a whole person with very different needs and every patient is different,” explains IDC program director Scott Harrison.

Julie Kille, a nurse and the operations leader, says she and her colleagues have gone beyond the call of duty to help patients. “(If) you need a way to get to the clinic, we’ll help you do that. There’s a lot of things that we go sort of outside the box on. We’ve come up with some interesting ways of dealing with some client needs.”

“We’ve had people actually go out and buy bags of food for people,” Kille adds.

HIV also still needs to be managed with drugs. Left unchecked or untreated, it can be deadly.

An estimated 25 per cent of Canadians still don’t know they have contracted HIV, and that means it can be spread unintentionally.

With infection rates on the rise among women and heterosexuals, Kellman urges everyone to practice safe sex, get tested and educated.

“Twenty-seven per cent of new diagnoses are heterosexuals, and out of that population, women are most at risk
and particularly, women over the age of 50,” says Kellman.

New rapid HIV tests are available, meaning there is no longer a tense waiting game.

For anyone hesitant about getting tested, one HIV-positive patient who frequents the clinic has this advice. “I would say get over it, go get tested. It’s the only way you can live a happier, healthier lifestyle, really.”

According to amfAR (the American Foundation for AIDS Research)

• More than 34 million people live with HIV/AIDS

• About 10 per cent of them are 15 years old or younger

• Every hour, almost 300 people are infected with HIV (that works out to roughly 7,000 people per day)

• In 2011, an estimated 2.5 million contracted HIV

• 230,000 of them were 15 years old or younger

© Global News. A division of Shaw Media Inc., 2012.

65-year-old man who feared homosexuals convicted of murdering 79-year-old in Vancouver

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

Vancouver Sun

A 65-year-old man has been convicted of murdering a 79-year-old man, who was stabbed to death at a hotel in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside in 2004.

“They say I stabbed him 130 times,” the killer, George Phillip Holt, said in an interview with The Vancouver Sun last Friday during a break in his murder trial.

Holt, who was on bail at the time and sitting in a wheelchair outside the Vancouver Law Courts, said he had no memory of committing the murder.

He said the victim, Reginald Haynes, had asked Holt to perform oral sex, offering to pay Holt $50.

Holt said he “lost it.”

“I killed the guy by accident,” Holt said.

The killer made the comments before the jury reached its verdict, convicting Holt guilty of second-degree murder at about 8:30 p.m. last Friday night.

When he spoke to The Sun, he said he expected to be found guilty of murder and receive a lengthy prison sentence.

Seven of the 12 jurors recommended that Holt should serve at least 15 years before he is eligible for parole, one juror recommended Holt serve 20 years, two recommended he serve the minimum 10 years and two left it up to the judge.

Second-degree murder carries a mandatory life sentence with no parole for 10 to 25 years.

B.C. Supreme Court Justice Gail Dickson will hear sentencing submissions Friday at 2 p.m.

The trial judge will decide whether the nature of the crime and Holt’s background would warrant an increased parole ineligibility period.

The judge will also have to consider the advanced age of the killer.

The trial heard evidence that Holt and Haynes were both living at the Columbia Hotel at the time of the Aug. 27, 2004 murder, which went unsolved for years.

Holt’s blood was found in Haynes’ room, but he denied being involved, blaming the crime on two other men.

After the case stalled, Vancouver police detectives decided to dust off the file and finally solved it in 2009, when Holt was arrested at his home in New Westminster.

At trial, expert pathologist Dr. Charles Lee testified that the victim suffered from approximately 130 stab wounds and cutting injuries.

Holt testified that he was high on cocaine at the time Haynes asked him to perform oral sex.

“I started to lose it because I have a fear of homosexuals,” the killer told the jury.

He testified he didn’t remember stabbing him.

The Crown called as witnesses the two men whom Holt had initially blamed for the murder. Both denied any involvement.

The men voluntarily provided DNA samples to police in 2009, which cleared them as suspects.

The jury rejected Holt’s defence, which was a combination of lack of intent due to cocaine intoxication and provocation.

Alain Morrissette chante Jean-Pierre Ferland

Saturday, February 27th, 2010

Garou: Le chouchou des québécois a osé présenter une chanson purement québécoise à l’ouverture des jeux olympiques de Vancouver. Or, un chanteur de la communauté gaie, Alain Morrissette, avait enregistré pour les auditeurs de GGTV en 2006 une version de “Un peu plus loin” de Jean-Pierre Ferland qui ne laissera personne insensible. Écoutez ce petit délice et comparez avec notre beau Garou!

JO d’hiver 2010: Une maison réservée aux homosexuels

Tuesday, October 20th, 2009

Grande première dans l’histoire des Jeux Olympiques : l’hiver prochain, à Vancouver, les athlètes homosexuels bénéficieront d’un endroit où ils pourront se retrouver «entre eux».

Baptisé «Pride House» (Maison de la fierté en Vf), ce lieu de rencontres permettra aux athlètes gays et lesbiennes de se retrouver entre eux, avec leurs parents et leurs amis. Ce pavillon olympique d’un nouveau genre comprendra une aire de repos, un bar et des téléviseurs, ainsi qu’un espace pour les interviews avec les journalistes.

Il restera ouvert du 8 février au 21 mars, soit durant les JO, mais aussi durant les Jeux paralympiques. Objectif : faire évoluer les mentalités. C’est en tout cas ce qu’espèrent les responsables à l’initiative du projet.