Epidemiology: Forging the Future: Tracking the Addicts

Each morning Dr. Jane Buxton, 49, bicycles through the manicured West Side of Vancouver, Canada, to wage an unconventional war on drugs. Just two miles north and a world apart from Buxton's office is a 10-square-block area known as Downtown Eastside, where a shifting population of some 5,000 addicts huddle together, drawn to Vancouver for its relatively mild climate, generous social services and easy access to street drugs. The area also boasts the highest concentration of HIV and hepatitis-C cases in North America; more than 80% of its drug users test positive for hepatitis C and 25% for HIV.

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