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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.
The fact sheets provide information on facts and numbers of people who use drugs at a glance, challenges and vulnerabilities as well as HIV prevention, treatment in infographics.
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.
In Hong Kong, the number of HIV cases transmitted through injecting drug use (IDU) has remained low up till now and contributed to less than 5% of all reported cases cumulatively. However, the potential risk of cluster outbreak and rapid upsurge of infection among the IDU population is always a concern. To monitor HIV-related risk behaviours and access to HIV testing services among IDU, this population has been included as one of the four at-risk populations in the HIV/AIDS Response Indicator Survey (HARiS) implemented since 2013. The fifth round of survey was conducted in 2017 via commissioning to the Stanley Ho Centre for Emerging Infectious Disease, School of Public Health and Primary Care of the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
The number of countries providing harm reduction interventions to prevent drug-related death, HIV and hepatitis C has stalled since 2016, according to a new report today from Harm Reduction International (HRI). Of the estimated 15.6 million people who inject drugs worldwide, over half live with hepatitis C, and nearly 1 in 5 live with HIV.
The report, The Global State of Harm Reduction 2018, is the most comprehensive independent analysis to date on harm reduction policy and practice around the world. It reveals that just 86 countries provide needle and syringe programmes (NSP), despite injecting drug use being present in 179 countries. This marks a fall from 90 countries in 2016, with NSPs cut in Bulgaria, Laos and the Philippines.
History has shown us that civil society that is empowered and informed is fundamental for fighting inequality, injustice and spearheading transformative social change. Civil society actors hold a mirror up to governments, reflecting back to them the real impact of policy decisions on people and communities. The watchdog role of civil society in being vigilant in policy formulation, implementation and evaluation cannot be underestimated if the interests of society’s most marginalised are to be central to decision making processes. The IDPC Secretariat remains deeply committed to our core mandate and will continue to work alongside our members and partners to fight for civil society space in drug policy forums at the national, regional and UN levels.
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.
The media has a critical role to play in correcting the myths surrounding drug use that has for decades, helped create an environment of misunder-standing, distrust and discrimination against people who use drugs. Drugs change the structure of the brain and how it works12 and yet drug use is seldom reported as a health problem.
Media coverage has mostly been focused on law enforcement, with drug users often portrayed as criminals. This negative portrayal adds to the stigma and discrimination against drug users, discouraging them from accessing essential health services, including HIV prevention and treatment services.