This report reviews what is known about the state of the HIV/AIDS in the Vancouver downtown east end, based on the formal literature, current and previous studies from and about that downtown community; summarizes a community consultation process with adults and youth, current and ex- drug users, HIV-positive individuals, and community social and medical service providers; and presents an action plan to reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS among those downtown community members involved in injection drug (heroin and cocaine) use.
Issues discussed in the consultations included physical health, housing, having a sense of belonging and usefulness, information dissemination, public safety, and needs of special high-risk groups. Recommendations are made under such objectives as: ensuring that high-risk persons are connected with and make better use of existing resources; improve shelter and housing conditions; increase community ability to deal with the HIV/AIDS problem; support co-ordination of HIV/AIDS services; and funding. Appendices include survey questionnaires and a background paper on methadone treatment.
Review: "Noted critic, novelist and essayist Sheed recounts his recovery from three major illnesses in this highly personal, torturous, oddly exhilarating chronicle. The first illness, polio, struck in 1945 when he was 14. With unbridled optimism, Sheed struggled for years with a disease that ``seemed much more like a vacation from the pains of growing up than an addition to them.'' The book's centerpiece, his plunge into depression triggered by addiction to sleeping pills and alcohol in his mid-50s, unfolds a nightmare of panic attacks, manic highs, proliferating phobias and suicidal dementia. Sheed found scant relief through a stay in a sanatorium, antidepressants or lithium, on all of which he heaps scorn. His recovery seemed to follow its own logic and inner mechanisms of healing. Diagnosed with cancer in 1991, he underwent operations of the tongue and neck, as well as radiation treatments, a two-year ordeal he describes with wit and gallantry." -- Reed Elsevier Inc.