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Reference Group to the United Nations on HIV and Injecting Drug Use. [International Drug Policy Consortium] Reference Group calls on UN Member States to scale-up evidence-based interventions to address HIV among people who use drugs. (06 Jun 2011)

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The head of the 2011 United Nations High Level Meeting on AIDS, the Reference Group to the United Nations on HIV and Injecting Drug Use has issued a statement calling for Member States to focus on HIV transmission among people who inject drugs. The statement details eight key priorities for Member States as they negotiate the outcome document for June’s General Assembly meeting.

“Harm reduction is neither a matter of rhetoric, nor of politics. It is evidence-based and when implemented to scale, reduces HIV transmission among people who inject drugs,” says Bronwyn Myers, Reference Group Secretariat and Specialist Scientist at the Medical Research Council.

The statement issued by the Reference Group asks governments to commit to scaling-up evidence-based interventions to addressing HIV among people who inject drugs. It details a rights-based public health approach to achieving universal access, such as providing anti-retroviral treatment to people who are living with HIV, and it calls for countries to revise punitive drug and law enforcement policies that can undermine the AIDS response and human rights. “There is still a misconception that people who use drugs can not adhere to HIV treatment regimens, but research shows that they adhere well, especially if HIV treatment is offered in conjunction with drug treatment,” said Steffanie Strathdee, Associate Dean of Global Health at UC San Diego and a member of the Reference Group. “Denying drug users life-saving HIV treatments and drug treatment violates their right to health and harms the community, since it is now known that HIV treatment reduces viral load and can prevent HIV transmission,” Dr Strathdee said.


Item Type:News
Source:International Drug Policy Consortium
Date:6 June 2011
Corporate Creators:Reference Group to the United Nations on HIV and Injecting Drug Use
EndNote:View
Subjects:T Demographic characteristics > Intravenous / injecting drug user
VA Geographic area > International aspects
G Health and disease > Disorder by cause > Communicable disease > HIV infection
J Health care, prevention and rehabilitation > Health-related prevention > Health information and education > Communicable disease control

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