April 13, 1956

(Buenos Aires, Argentina)


MD, University of Buenos Aires (1979)

Awards & Honours:

2009: Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada

2010: Honorary Degree, Simon Fraser University

See All Awards
Picture of Julio Montaner

Pioneered life-saving approaches to HIV treatment and prevention

Julio Montaner

A visionary-physician and a constant advocate for effective HIV-AIDS treatment

Having learned the power of combination drug treatment for tuberculosis from his father, Dr. Luis Julio Gonzalez Montaner, he began exploring combination antiretroviral therapy regimens for his patients in 1990, eventually leading an international consortium of investigators to test a novel triple drug combination called ‘highly active antiretroviral therapy’ (HAART) to suppress the progression of HIV disease. With his team, he established the impact of HAART on decreasing HIV transmission in BC, and pioneered the notion of Treatment as Prevention. The success of this strategy led Dr. Montaner to advocate the 90-90-90 Target, which calls for 90% of HIV cases to be diagnosed, 90% of them to have access to HAART, and 90% of them to be virologically suppressed globally.

Key Facts

Pioneered the concept of Treatment as Prevention (TasP)

Authored more than 650 peer-reviewed scientific publications

Played an important role in the establishment and success of North America’s first legal, supervised injection site

Professional timeline

Impact on lives today

When Dr. Montaner joined St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver in the 1980s, the AIDS pandemic was just beginning. Patients’ prognosis were bleak and many lives were lost. Over many decades of visionary research and treatment, Dr. Montaner has played an instrumental role in the world’s management and reduction of the disease. His work saves lives on a daily basis and gives hope to many that this devastating disease will one day become a rare condition.

Picture of Julio Montaner


  • J. Montaner postage stamp

    Canada Post issued five stamps honouring six Canadian physicians and researchers whose discoveries have saved lives and revolutionized patient care around the world

    CMHF Laureates, Drs. Bruce Chown, Julio Montaner, Balfour Mount, Vera Peters and James Till and Ernest McCulloch were honoured in this stamp series.

  • Julio Montaner Induction

    Julio Montaner inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame

    Winnipeg, Manitoba

  • TasP was fully incorporated into the WHO Consolidated ARV Guidelines

    Meeting the 90-90-90 Target is expected to lead to a 90% decrease in AIDS mortality and HIV incidence.

  • British Columbia was the only province to implement the HAART strategy

    In 2012, the province reported that the number of new HIV diagnoses had fallen from approximately 800 per year prior to 1996 to 238 in 2012.

  • As a sign of the international influence of his work, Dr. Montaner became President of the International AIDS Society in 2008

  • In a landmark Lancet paper, Dr. Montaner postulated that wide availability of antiretroviral therapy immediately following HIV diagnosis would stop HIV/AIDS related morbidity and mortality and, at the same time, virtually stop HIV transmission

    Patient Care, Infectious Disease, Allergy & Immunity

    In the same year, he presented his proposed new HIV/AIDS control strategy at the International AIDS Conference in Toronto under the name of Treatment as Prevention.

  • HAART became the new standard of care for HIV in North America and Europe

    Infectious Disease, Allergy & Immunity, Infectious Disease, Allergy & Immunity

    Later, HAART was adopted by the World Health Organization.

  • As the AIDS Crisis continued unabated, Dr. Montaner played a key role in the establishment of the B.C. Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS

    Infectious Disease, Allergy & Immunity

    He served as the organization’s first Executive Director and Physician-in-Chief.

  • Dr. Montaner was appointed Clinical Instructor in the Department of Medicine at UBC as well as Director of AIDS Research

    In addition to research, Dr. Montaner became the Director of the HIV Clinic at St. Paul Hospital in Vancouver.

  • Arrival in Canada

    Dr. Montaner came to Canada and completed his postgraduate residency training at the University of British Columbia. As a young internist, he treated some of the earliest cases of AIDS in Canada.


He changes the world every day.