Programming Connection

Targeted Testing Initiative 

Vancouver STOP Project
Vancouver, British Columbia

What is the STOP HIV AIDS Project?

Seek and Treat for Optimal Prevention of HIV/AIDS (STOP) was a $48 million, four-year (2010-2013) pilot project funded by the government of British Columbia. This project aimed to increase the quality of life of people living with HIV and reduce the number of new HIV infections by taking a proactive public health approach to finding people living with HIV, linking them to HIV care and treatment programs, and supporting them to stay in care. STOP aimed to improve the experience of people living with HIV or AIDS in every health and social service interaction and significantly improve linkage and engagement across the full continuum of services in HIV prevention, testing and diagnosis, treatment, and care and support.

STOP was rolled out in Vancouver and Prince George. It was made up of numerous interconnected and discrete clinic-based, hospital-based, community-based and policy-focused programs implemented through the collaboration of a significant number of stakeholders. In Vancouver, Vancouver Coastal Health and Providence Health Care partnered to form the Vancouver Project. Through this partnership, these two organizations shared governance, funding and reporting for most of the initiatives that took place in Vancouver between 2011 and 2013.

As part of its commitment to expanding access to HIV testing and diagnosis, the Vancouver STOP Project initiated expanded rapid and routine testing in clinical services used by clients who might be at higher risk for HIV infection than the general population. These services include primary healthcare centres, mental health and addictions services, youth and abortion clinics, supportive housing, First Nation communities and in the justice system. They accomplished this through training and ongoing support to clinicians implementing the change from a lengthy pre-test counselling/risk-based model to a risk-based and routine testing model.