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Dr. Ted Myers is honoured with the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal

October 16/2012



The Dalla Lana School of Public Health is proud to announce that our own Dr. Ted Myers is one of The Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal recipients for 2012. The Canadian AIDS Society recently announced those who have been honoured with this distinction for their exemplary work and service in the field of HIV/AIDS in Canada.

Dr. Myers is a Professor in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health and the Director of the HIV Social, Behavioural and Epidemiological Studies Unit at the University of Toronto. He has been a Council Member and President of the Canadian Association for HIV Research, and has been a member of the Scientific Review Committees and Rapporteur teams for several International Conferences on HIV/AIDS. Dr. Myers has extensive experience in socio-behavioural and behavioural-epidemiological research with marginalised populations including aboriginals, gay and bisexual men and drug using populations. He has particular interests in geographic and cultural analyses and the determinants of sexual and risk behaviour. He has undertaken a number of province-wide and national studies of behaviour and service delivery as well as studies in other countries. Dr. Myers has undertaken research in HIV testing, needle exchange programs, and other service delivery systems to help inform policy.

“I am deeply honoured to be a recipient of a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal,” said Dr. Myers when asked to comment on the prestigious award. “When I became engaged in the HIV field shortly after arriving at the University of Toronto, little was known about HIV and there were many mysteries that surrounded this disease. HIV largely affected marginalized populations such as gay and bisexual men, and injecting drug users. Further, it involved private and same-sex sexual behaviours and illicit drug use, which were generally ignored within the community, or criminalized, and for which there was no well-established research methodology and very little understanding. Because of the stigma and prejudice, within society, public health and within universities, many faculty were disinterested and reluctant to become involved with these domains of research. “

“The field required a new way of conducting research in order to recruit and work with affected communities. As a result, the community-based research movement and approaches to Knowledge Transfer and Exchange were strengthened. Because of the urgency in finding solutions and in recruiting hidden populations, new approaches had to be found for intervention and prevention research and for clinical trials. Traditional public health policies were challenged and as a result new approaches were developed. These laid the foundation for meeting the challenges and dealing with diseases which subsequently arose, such as SARS. Solving the many ethical issues encountered in the field of HIV has strengthened ethical approaches to research, and has had extensive impacts on many areas of research.”

“My personal accomplishments, for which the award is given, would not have been possible without the support and hard work of other colleagues. It has given me a greater understanding of the need for multidisciplinary and collaborative research. A solid and productive HIV Social, Behavioural and

Epidemiological Research Unit, the first and one of the few campus-based centres in Canada, has provided an opportunity to make significant advances in understanding and responding to the epidemic in Ontario, Canada and Internationally. The approach has provided opportunities to work with community, and has further provided the opportunity for capacity-building and the training of the next generation of researchers.”

Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal

A new commemorative medal was created to mark the 2012 celebrations of the 60th anniversary of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s accession to the Throne as Queen of Canada. The Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal is a tangible way for Canada to honour Her Majesty for her service to this country. At the same time, it serves to honour significant contributions and achievements by Canadians.

The obverse depicts a crowned image of the Sovereign, in whose name the medal is bestowed. The reverse marks the sixtieth, or diamond, anniversary of the accession to the Throne of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. The anniversary is expressed by the central diamond shape, by the background composed of a pattern of diamonds, and by the two dates. The Royal Cypher consists of the Royal Crown above the letters EIIR (i.e., Elizabeth II Regina, the latter word meaning Queen in Latin). The maple leaves refer to Canada, while the motto VIVAT REGINA means “Long live The Queen!” The ribbon uses a new arrangement of the blue, red and white colours found in the 1953 Coronation Medal, the 1977 Silver Jubilee Medal, and the 2002 Golden Jubilee Medal.

The Chancellery of Honours, as part of the Office of the Secretary to the Governor General, administers the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal program.

The Canadian AIDS Society will be coordinating the presentation of the medals with the nominators of the recipients and will also be presenting some at its 2012 World AIDS Day Gala, to be held Tuesday, November 27, 2012 at the Château Cartier Hotel in Ottawa.

Congratulations, Ted!

For more information on the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medals, please visit: