Our strange indifference to aboriginal addiction

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Our strange indifference to aboriginal addiction



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Our strange indifference to aboriginal addiction
Recognizing our collective responsibility would herald uplifting transformation for Canadians

Special to Globe and Mail Update

February 5, 2008 at 12:30 AM EST

Marlene, a 46-year old native woman, sat in my office last week, slumped on her chair, blinking away her tears. I'd just shared the news that her most recent blood test confirmed she had "seroconverted" to HIV, become infected with the AIDS virus. Although an injection drug user, Marlene had always been careful to use clean needles. Her route of infection was sexual contact — with the resigned naivetй characteristic of so many aboriginal women in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside, she had trusted a man, himself a drug addict, who assured her that he was a safe partner.

There is a disproportionately high ratio of native Canadians among my Downtown Eastside patients, as well as in Canada's drug-using population and prisons. And they suffer disproportionately. Last week, a study showed that the HIV rate among Vancouver's aboriginal drug users is twice that of non-natives. The report came just a day after the tragic incident in which two toddlers froze to death on a Saskatchewan reserve. Their father, in an inebriated stupor, had carried them into a snowstorm.

[url=http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080205.wcomment0205... globe and mail[/url]


You've already been told to stay out of the aboriginal issues and culture forum. I meant it.

If you post in this forum again, you'll be banned from babble.

Actually, on second thought, I just realized that this thread is on exactly the same subject you posted about last time in this forum, when I told you to stay out of this forum.

So I think this is deliberate provocation, and I'm not going to wait until you do it again. I'm just going to ban you now.

[ 05 February 2008: Message edited by: Michelle ]

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