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Between 2010 and 2016, Asia and the Pacific registered one of the steepest declines in HIV infecti ons globally, with prevalence rates dropping by approximately 13%. Despite this overall reduction, HIV prevalence among people who inject drugs in Southeast Asia remains among the world’s highest. Regionally, seven of the ten countries with the highest rates of HIV among people who inject drugs are member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
This paper offers a brief analysis of these two challenges in light of current policies and practices, along with recommendati ons for overcoming them to ensure the implementati on of a drug treatment system that can result in improved health and human rights outcomes for people who use drugs and people dependant on drugs.
The document sets out the changes we want to achieve for people who use drugs, the responses we will make to achieve these changes, the desired outcomes, and the preconditions that need to be in place for the changes to occur.
Nearly a quarter of the world’s new HCV infections occur among people who inject drugs (PWID): lack of access to sterile needles, syringes and other injection equipment renders them highly vulnerable to HCV. Legal and structural barriers also greatly increase HCV risk among PWID. Worldwide, more than 50% of the 15.6 million PWID are HCV antibody positive. Without urgent, strategic and measurable action that includes PWID, HCV will continue to inflict a staggering, and increasing, burden of preventable illness and death among families, communities and countries.
The Linkages across the Continuum of HIV Services for Key Populations Affected by HIV (LINKAGES) project conducts a range of HIV prevention activities to reduce HIV transmission among key populations (sex workers, men who have sex with men, transgender persons and people who inject drugs) and to improve their enrollment and retention in care. These reports offer up-to-date knowledge that can be used to strengthen HIV and AIDS programming for key populations worldwide.
Keywords: HIV, assessment, key populations, data analysis
The objectives are to estimate the prevalence of HIV and syphilis among PWID and PWUD and HCV among PWID, to examine HIV risk behaviors among PWID and PWUD: illicit drug use behaviors, substance abuse, and other health issues including healthcare seeking behaviors and exposure to HIV programs and to estimate the national population size of PWID and PWUD by types of drug used.
In regards to current drug trends, particularly methamphetamine (both in crystal and pill form) has become increasingly accessible and affordable throughout Asia, reflecting the trend of rising use of amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS) in the region.
Governments in the SEA region have implemented different kinds of national drug policy reform, including diversion programmes (Indonesia and Cambodia), harm reduction measures (Malaysia and Myanmar), and steps towards decriminalisation of cannabis cultivation and use for medical and scientific purposes (Thailand).
In Harm Reduction International’s 2010 report on the state of global funding for harm reduction, we stressed, ‘more money is needed for harm reduction, and it is needed now’. Sadly, this statement remains true in 2018. Harm reduction interventions for people who use drugs—such as needle and syringe programmes (NSP) and opioid substitution therapy (OST)—are cost-effective, protect against HIV and hepatitis C, and save lives. Despite the potential for these interventions to contribute to healthier communities, funding for harm reduction in lowand middle-income countries (LMICs) has flat-lined over the past decade.
Following last year's 20th anniversary edition, the World Drug Report 2018 is again presented in a special five-booklet format designed to enhance reader friendliness while maintaining the wealth of information contained within. Booklet 1 summarizes the content of the four subsequent substantive booklets and presents policy implications drawn from their findings. Booklet 2 provides a global overview of the latest estimates of and trends in the supply, use and health consequences of drugs. Booklet 3 examines current estimates of and trends in the cultivation, production and consumption of the three plant-based drugs (cocaine, opiates and cannabis), reviews the latest developments in cannabis policies and provides an analysis of the global synthetic drugs market, including new psychoactive substances. Booklet 4 looks at the extent of drug use across age groups, particularly among young and older people, by reviewing the risks and vulnerabilities to drug use in young people, the health and social consequences they experience and their role in drug supply, as well as highlighting issues related to the health care needs of older people who use drugs. Finally, Booklet 5 focuses on the specific issues related to drug use among women, including the social and health consequences of drug use and access to treatment by women with drug use disorders; it also discusses the role played by women in the drug supply chain.
Keywords: drugs, women, young people, prisoners, health care, treatment
This policy briefing was drafted by a group of local and international organisations with in-depth knowledge and extensive experience of drug-related issues in Myanmar. It is structured around a set of five strategic interventions, each of which comes with concrete recommendations that are adapted to the Myanmar context. It contains reliable, up-to-date information and examples of evidence-based practices from Myanmar and around the world.