A new report has criticized governments for failing the address injecting drug use and thus jeopardising any attempt at an effective global aids response. The report says that governments care more about fighting a losing war on drugs than winning the fight against HIV.
The report was written by Human Rights International and is being released at the International AIDs 2012 today. The International AIDS conference is taking place in Washington from July 22 to the 27th and is meant to be a gathering of policy makers, experts and those living with HIV,
The report 'The Global State of Harm Reduction 2012' has compiled data about in particular HIV and the injecting drug use community. It looked at the availability of harm reduction such as methadone and needle exchanges world wide.
It found that harm reduction around the world is lacking with 1 in 3 HIV infections outside sub Saharan Africa being linked to unsafe injecting practises. It found that out of the 158 countries that have documented injecting drug use that half of them did not have harm reduction programs.
The executive director of Harm Reduction International said “In the last two years have seen a significant scale-down of services in countries with some of the highest HIV burdens among people who inject drugs, as tens of thousands gather in Washington this week to call for an end to AIDS, it is becoming increasingly clear that governments have neither the will nor the intention of ending the spread of HIV among people who use drugs.”
“'The reluctance of governments to fund an adequate response to HIV and injecting drug use stands in stark contrast to the seemingly limitless budgets for ineffective and punitive law enforcement responses,' said Lines. 'Governments care more about fighting a losing war on drugs than they do about winning the fight against HIV.”