Innovative Approaches to HIV/AIDS Care

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Innovative Approaches to HIV/AIDS Care

Vancouver, CanadaVancouver, Canada
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Project Stage:
$1 million - $5 million
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

The Dr. Peter AIDS Foundation provides care to end HIV/AIDS.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

HIV/AIDS remains one of the greatest health challenges of our time and there is still no cure. More than 80 per cent of British Columbians with HIV/AIDS live in Metro Vancouver. Many do not have access to medication that lengthens lives and helps prevent further transmission of HIV/AIDS. The Dr. Peter AIDS Foundation serves more than 400 of Vancouver's most vulnerable people who are struggling with HIV/AIDS in addition to addiction, mental illness, unstable housing and extreme poverty. The Dr. Peter Centre excels in engaging this difficult-to-reach population.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

The Dr. Peter Centre is a leader in HIV/AIDS care, particularly for individuals with multiple medical conditions and social barriers to care. We make HIV/AIDS care accessible for key populations and share our innovative clinical care model with other health care providers locally, provincially and nationally. From nutritious meals, showers and laundry facilities to address basic human needs, the Dr. Peter Centre provides a wide range of amenities to engage a diverse population in their own health care. We offer comprehensive nursing, help with medication adherence, nutritious meals and diverse therapies that help individuals strengthen their sense of self and build connections to other people.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

The Dr. Peter Centre offers services ranging from basic amenities such as nutrition and laundry to specialized nursing, art therapy, psychotherapy, alternative therapies and support with medication adherence. The Dr. Peter Centre Café is a dynamic place that serves two hot, wholesome meals to our participants seven days a week. The program ensures participants have the caloric intake they need to gain weight and stay healthy. The Dr. Peter Centre helps clients meet their stated health care requirements through a range of services including health advocacy with doctors and health care service providers, medication support, a methadone maintenance program, basic wound care and harm reduction services. Approximately 70% of the participants at the Dr. Peter Centre have either a history of using substances or are currently struggling with addiction. Many of these individuals have experienced poverty, violence, and abuse, are polysubstance users and are living with mental health problems. To reflect this reality, and to meet their very complex health needs, the Dr. Peter Centre's interdisciplinary clinical team provides harm reduction services including: supervised injection service/needle exchange, distribution of condoms and lubricant, and sexual health education.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

While there are other services and programs for people with HIV/AIDS in Vancouver, the Dr. Peter Centre is unique in its ability to engage HIV positive people struggling with a confluence of health and social challenges, including longstanding addiction, serious mental illness, and extreme poverty. The Dr. Peter Centre also has a 24 unit Residence program that provides a home to those who come for short-term stabilization, longer-term medically complex care and end of life care. The Residence welcomes people who need to avoid hospitalization, transition from hospital back into the community or stay to be supported for their long-term needs.

Founding Story

Dr. Peter Jepson-Young was a young gay Vancouver physician with HIV/AIDS whose condition had become too debilitating for him to continue medical practice. His colleague and friend, Dr. Jay Wortman, encouraged Peter to use his experience to inform and educate the public and others living with HIV/AIDS. They approached CBC Television with a concept initially intended to be a daily appearance for one week. Due to overwhelming public response, Dr. Peter – as he soon became known – was asked to continue for as long as his health permitted. For the next two years and 111 episodes of The Dr. Peter Diaries, he used honesty, pathos and humour to share his experience, bringing a human face to the epidemic. He achieved international acclaim; a documentary compilation of the Diaries would later be nominated for an Academy Award. In 1992, just weeks before his death, Peter established the Dr. Peter AIDS Foundation to provide care for people living with HIV/AIDS.
About You
Dr. Peter AIDS Foundation
About You
About Your Organization
Organization Name

Dr. Peter AIDS Foundation

Organization Country

, BC, Vancouver

Country where this solution is creating social impact

, BC, Vancouver

Region in BC where your solution creates social impact


How long has your organization been operating?

More than 5 years

How long have you been in operation?

Operating for more than 5 years

Which of the following best describes the barrier(s) your solution addresses? Choose up to two

Access, Cost.

Social Impact
Please describe the goal of your initiative; outline what you are trying to achieve

The innovative, comprehensive model of care at the Dr. Peter Centre is improving people’s health, helping people find strength in the face of an incurable illness, and inspiring health care providers around the world.

Because we now know that an HIV positive person adhering to HIV treatment is 96% less likely to transmit the virus, we know we are also helping to reduce the spread of the disease.

The Dr. Peter AIDS Foundation provides care to end AIDS.

What has been the impact of your solution to date?

The Dr. Peter Centre's model is very successful at helping vulnerable populations adhere to their medication and reduce their viral loads, which is critical to reducing HIV transmission in BC.

Studies have shown that within one year of admission to the Dr. Peter Centre Residence, clients had 36% fewer emergency visits – 543 fewer hours spent in the emergency room – and 72% fewer inpatient hospital days.

Equally as important, the Dr. Peter Centre is a community where HIV positive people can regain health, dignity and meaning in their lives.

What is your projected impact over the next five years?

We are now expanding our reach and impact in response to the need for increased capacity and the complexity of HIV/AIDS care.

We are sharing our innovative model with more provincial, national and international health care providers to help them develop their skills and capacity to provide similar interdisciplinary care.

We are also expanding our direct care with Enhanced Supportive Housing Suites, which give life skills and greater independence to clients who were previously in the Dr. Peter Centre Residence. These suites are in close proximity to the Centre, allowing suite residents to come to the centre for meals, medication and specialized care. It also allows Dr. Peter staff to support the suites with housekeeping and other daily living supports.

What barriers might hinder the success of your project? How do you plan to overcome them?

Funding is always a consideration in planning for a non-profit such as the Dr. Peter AIDS Foundation, which is why we proactively seek a wide variety of sources, including government, foundations, corporations and individuals.

Winning entries present a strong plan for how they will achieve and track growth. Identify your six-month milestone for growing your impact

Grow Knowledge Exchange Capacity

Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your six-month milestone
Task 1

Grow national knowledge exchange presence

Task 2

Grow international knowledge exchange presence

Task 3

Work with external researchers to evaluate model of care

Now think bigger! Identify your 12-month impact milestone

Grow Direct Care Capabilities

Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your 12-month milestone
Task 1

Grow network of Enhanced Supportive Housing suites

Task 2

Grow funding for Day Program

Task 3

Grow Day Program capacity

Tell us about your partnerships

The Dr. Peter AIDS Foundation partners with government, corporations, foundations and individuals to provide world-class HIV/AIDS care.

Are you currently targeting other specific populations, locations, or markets for your solution? If so, where and why?

While we provide direct care in the Vancouver area, we are expanding our knowledge transfer capacity so that we can impact HIV/AIDS care around BC, throughout Canada, and around the world.

What type of operating environment and internal organizational factors make your innovation successful?

The Dr. Peter Centre prides itself on organizational excellence, which is made possible by its world-class interdisciplinary team.

Please elaborate on any needs or offers you have mentioned above and/or suggest categories of support that aren't specified within the list

The Dr. Peter AIDS Foundation has many programs that require support including the Day Health Program, Food & Nutrition Program, Art Therapy, Music Therapy, Recreation Therapy, Multi-disciplinary Counselling, and Knowledge Transfer Program.