October 1, 2011

Photo by Darren Stone, Times Colonist, Postmedia News

In October of 2010, Fiona Gold and Juanita McGinley were Visiting Scholars at the Center for Health, Media & Policy for a week. They talked about their work in the “Street Nursing” program that does outreach to substance users and sex workers in Vancouver, British Columbia, who are at risk for HIV and death. These nurses also told us the battle they waged to open a “safe injection site” called Insite–a place for substance users to inject their drugs under the watchful eye of nurses and have access to nutrition and support services, as needed. The Conservative government has tried to shut down the site because they don’t understand the concept of harm reduction. Now the Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that the government can’t shut it down–a win for public health advocates and harm reduction models of care.