Harm-reduction activism: a case study of an unsanctioned user-run safe injection site – HIV/AIDS Policy and Law Review 9(2), August 2004

Due to the ongoing health crisis among injection drug users in Vancouver, Canada, there have been repeated calls for the establishment of safe injection sites (SISs) since the early 1990s. In April 2003, in response to a large-scale police crackdown and government inaction, a group of activists opened an unsanctioned SIS in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside (DTES).

In this article, Thomas Kerr, Megan Oleson, and Evan Wood describe the events surrounding the establishment, operation, and closing of the unsanctioned SIS, and outline the lessons learned.

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