Not only IDUs who are vulnerable to HIV or hepatitis C, right?

Not only IDUs who are vulnerable to HIV or hepatitis C, right? Pre-congress meeting of people who use drugs (PUD) forum, ICAAP IX Rido Triawan The pre-congress meeting of people who use drugs (PUD) forum on ICAAP IX with a theme ‘reform: towards human rights based drug policy’ was held on August 8th 2009 in Sanur, Bali. More than 120 participants from at least 11 countries in Asia Pacific attended this meeting. They were from Indonesia, Thailand, India, Nepal, Australia, Myanmar, Philippine, Malaysia, Cambodia, China, and Japan. The meeting was opened by a speech from the congress chairperson, prof. Wirawan, which was continued by a speech from the coordinator of Indonesian drug user solidarity association (IDUSA), Bani Rissetyabudi. The panel presentation session involved three speakers from Indonesian Drug User Solidarity Association (IDUSA), Australian Injecting and Illicit Drug Users' League (AIVL), and Asia Network of People who Use Drugs (ANPUD). Many participants gave questions, feedbacks or comments to speakers when the moderator opened the question and answer (Q&A) session after those three speakers gave their presentations. In the afternoon, the committee screened a video of the president of Bolivia, Evo Morales speech at CND meeting 2009 in Vienna, Austria. In that 15 minutes video, Evo Morales asked global society to demand UN revising the single convention on narcotics 1961, especially articles of 'coca leaf' criminalization. That video became a starter for group discussion. All participants were divided into six small groups. Each group should discuss one topic and define some recommendations from it. The six topics of group discussion were: global politics and economics of drug policy; drug use: medical, recreational and other purposes; criminal justice system: is still relevant to drug user?; Access to health and other public services; torture and abuses to drug offender; and, counter war on drug strategic campaign. There were some recommendation rising from those six group discussions, such as the needs of imprisonment as a part of effort to decriminalizing drug user and demanding countries in Asia Pacific to give positive education on addiction and harm effect of drugs to all citizens as a part of effort to reduce HIV or hepatitis C transmission among drug users as well as countering ‘the false’ war on drugs. In my point of view, there was another good result of the forum which is changing the name of the forum. All members of the committee agreed that any people who use any kind of drugs are also vulnerable to HIV and hepatitis C. It was a big decision to change former name of the forum (Injecting Drug User-IDU forum) into People who Use Drugs-PUD forum. It means that all representatives of Asia Pacific countries had agreed that they should find a way to build awareness on HIV and hepatitis C among people who use drugs.

Rido Triawan (member of Steering Committee of People who Use Drugs Forum, ICAAP IX, Bali-Indonesia, 2009)

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