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.
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