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Home > UNODC chief discusses responses to HIV/ AIDS among drug users and prisoners.

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. [United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime] UNODC chief discusses responses to HIV/ AIDS among drug users and prisoners. (13 Apr 2012)

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At a time of declining international aid flows to low income countries home to a high number of people living with HIV, Yury Fedotov, Executive Director of UNODC, yesterday addressed the 36th Meeting of the UNAIDS Committee of Cosponsoring Organizations (CCO) in Geneva. "This is resulting in a devastating situation, particularly in those countries where HIV epidemics are concentrated among key population groups such as drug users", said Mr. Fedotov, adding that "life saving HIV services are closing down".

UNODC is playing a critical role in assisting governments to tackle drug demand reduction and to provide comprehensive HIV prevention, treatment and care. The need for targeted and integrated services for drug users was more important than ever, said the Executive Director.

Mr. Fedotov expressed particular concern about the increasing global abuse of synthetic drugs, mainly amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS) and prescription drugs. Increasing evidence suggests that the use of ATS facilitates HIV transmission. Methamphetamine use elevates the risk of contracting HIV and increases the progression of the disease.

Mr. Fedotov informed the CCO about the decisions taken by the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) in March 2012 to protect vulnerable sectors of society. The CND, which is the central policy-setting body within the United Nations system dealing with illicit drugs, adopted resolutions on promoting measures addressing specific needs of drug dependent women; and on alternatives to imprisonment as a measure to promote public health and public safety.


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