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.
GVMHS pioneered an incredibly wide range of services containing culturally responsive care, focusing on recovery and rehabilitation as its basic principle. It includes initiatives in housing, developing the concurrent disorders of mental health and addiction services, and providing support and direction to related non-profit community agencies and consumer training and art organizations. During its 27 years of existence, GVMHS gained international recognition throughout the rest of Canada and United States, and particularly the Pacific Rim countries, where it became known as the 'Vancouver Model.' -- foreward by Dr Soma Ganesan