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Fatal overdoses are down—possibly because so many B.C. drug users have already died (Dr. Thomas Kerr, BCCSU)

The B.C.–Yukon Association of Drug War Survivors' vice president, Hawkfeather Peterson, says that the only answer to the province's overdose crisis is to replace illicit street drugs with a regulated supply. (Photo credit: The Georgia Straight)

Through 1997, Vancouver authorities met regularly in response to an unprecedented outbreak of HIV/AIDS. The virus had killed 877 people in the city of Vancouver over the preceding five years, plus another 555 across British Columbia.

A budding Downtown Eastside activist named Ann Livingston attended many of those meetings along with her boyfriend, Bud Osborn.

Thomas Kerr is a senior scientist at the B.C. Centre on Substance Use and professor with UBC’s faculty of medicine. He’s been around long enough to remember Vancouver’s HIV/AIDS crisis of the 1990s, and said there are parallels with the opioid epidemic of today.

Click here to read the full story on The Georgia Straight.

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