Date of issue: September 10, 2020
Series: Medical Groundbreakers
Design: Mike Savage and Dale Kilian
Julio Montaner was born in 1956 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. After receiving his medical degree from the University of Buenos Aires, he underwent residency training in internal and respiratory medicine at the University of British Columbia. In 1987, he joined Vancouver’s St. Paul’s Hospital to manage a newly formed HIV department that was assembled in response to the emerging AIDS epidemic.
With other investigators, his research led to the development a triple-drug combination called “highly active antiretroviral therapy” (HAART). This became the cornerstone of therapy for HIV infection, for both prevention and treatment of disease and for decreasing viral transmission. It was adopted as the standard of care for HIV medicine by the World Health Organization in 2000.
Behind Dr. Montaner on both sides of the stamp are representations of human T lymphocytes in blue. Numerous red HIV particles can be seen on their surface. On Montaner’s right side is the twisted red ribbon used as a symbol for solidarity with people living with HIV/AIDS. The medal of the Order of Canada – of which he is a member – can be seen in the upper left corner of the stamp. The First Day Cover bears a commemorative cancel that includes a staff of Aesculapius and the name of the city where Montaner made his contributions.