Because of people like Michael O’Shaughnessy, British Columbia is acknowledged for its progressive response to HIV/AIDS.
As director of the B.C. Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, he has established an international reputation for his AIDS research, his care of people living with HIV, and his advocacy of human rights. His greatest achievement has been the establishment of the HIV/AIDS Drug Treatment Program, which provides life-saving medications to people living with HIV and AIDS throughout B.C. His leadership helped develop health public health policy and influenced the creation of the National AIDS Strategy, Phase III. He was among the first to realize that the battle against AIDS could be won in the laboratory but lost in the streets. His vision has always encompassed the broadest aspects of the disease — from studying the virus under a microscope to visiting the bedside of a patient with HIV.