The average life expectancy for a man living in the downtown eastside is approximately 20 years less than in most other neighbourhoods in the city.
Vancouver surely faces one of its most pressing health and public order challenges in its history. Today the DTES maintains the highest HIV infection rate in North America, affecting as many as 30 per cent of the local population, mainly women; many of them also suffer from Hepatitis C. Public drug use, in particular of cocaine - long recognized as an important driver of the HIV epidemic - is rampant.
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