Saturday , January 16 2021

Winnipeg retired Winnipeg retirement at the forefront of HIV / AIDS treatment – Winnipeg

A leading physician in Winnipeg, who helped fight AIDS and HIV in the 1930s, retired for 52 years in practice.

Dick Smith, our Health Center 230 Osborne St. Medical director, said the first health clinic in the city was serving the gay gay community.

Smithe, 75, was one of Winnipeg's first doctors to treat people who were diagnosed with HIV and AIDS in the community, he said.

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"The first two cases diagnosed in the city were the patients who returned to the Winnipeg in Toronto," he said. "The first day was awful."

If they do not have blood tests to quickly and correctly find HIV, doctors know well to diagnose the symptoms well, he said.

"They increased the lymphatic glands," he said. "With more lymphatic glands and other symptoms and blood changes, I knew that the beginning of the situation that would bring AIDS."

At first, nobody knew surely about HIV spread, said Smithe. Some thought that they were tablets, some thought they were sharing eyeglasses or malnutrition.

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Once taken, the first days of HIV were difficult and terrifying, without information and fear. Several treatments were tested in the first few years in some cases were harmful, said Smithe.

About 100 of his patients were killed over the years.

The drugs used were a very toxic one, said Smithe, and it took a few years to find the doses that were so effective. In the HIV, however, he developed a resistance to this class of drugs, which is why they needed more.

"And now … there are six medications, you have only one pill per day and you have three medications that treat your HIV day," said Smithe.

"If you take the pill for the day, everything is fine and the virus is removed, you can make a helpless sex, you can have children, so things have changed dramatically."

At the age of 65, Smithe retreated, but continued to look after a few patients. From here the idea Our Health Center was born.

"At first, it started quite a bit," he said.

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The clinic has settled in the first location of McDermot Street in the Confusion Corner in Osborne Village, only to extend its care and services to gay and bisexual men, but generally to the general community.

"We put our attention on gay men", they are focusing on the development of HIV / AIDS and the development of other issues related to sex with men.

"So, as some women looked after their general medicine, they might be happy, maybe other women may prefer an obstinate or gynecologist, and some women prefer a man to a man.

"So we thought some gay men would prefer a gay gay guy to have health care," said Smithe.

This time his retirement will be permanent, said Smithe. Doug Arrell, a pair of 41, is ill, he added.

In the meantime, the clinic hopes to add at least 4 or more employees, but the finding of doctors has been a slow process.

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