crack pipe exchange
By Dustin Walker, Daily News Published: Times Colonist
Health officials hope providing clean needles and crack pipes to addicts will reduce an expected spike in the number of central Vancouver Island residents who contract HIV.
A relatively high number of people suffering with Hepatitis C in the region could be a sign that a surge in HIV is on its way, said Dr. Lorna Medd, medical health officer with the Vancouver Island Health Authority.
Central Vancouver Island's HIV rate was at 4.9 cases per 100,000 in 2008, well below the provincial rate of 7.9, according to B.C. Centre for Disease Control statistics. But the region has among the highest rates of Hepatitis C in the province at 87.6. The B.C. rate was just 55.8 in 2008.