Vancouver Anti-Drug Efforts Might Increase Area's HIV Risk, Advocates Say
February 19, 2009
Advocates in Vancouver, Canada, in a Feb. 10 letter said that the city police department's 2009 business plan to increase drug enforcement for the Downtown Eastside area also could increase the spread of HIV, the Vancouver Courier reports. The letter -- signed by seven not-for-profit organizations and scheduled to go before the police department board on Wednesday -- was sent to Police Chief Jim Chu and Mayor Gregor Robertson. It said the plan to increase patrols, street checks and ticketing in an area "whose population is disproportionately disabled, aboriginal, HIV-positive and hepatitis C-positive" could increase the spread of HIV and hepatitis C, as well as "limit access to critical health services and will not achieve its desired goals." The Courier reports that the business plan also calls for a priority on seizing drugs rather than prosecuting people for simple drug possession. The letter was signed by directors of AIDS Vancouver, the Positive Women's Network, the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, the YouthCO AIDS Society, the Asian Society for the Intervention of AIDS, the B.C. Civil Liberties Association and the British Columbia Person with AIDS Society.
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This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.