Help Stop the HIV epidemic among drug users in Romania

A new campaign has been set up in Romania asking the Romanian government to give financial support to a number of harm reduction organizations in order to ensure they do not have to close down various syringe exchange programmes and opiate substitution therapy programmes.

Between the years 2007 and 2009, the number of HIV cases that were reported was extremely low, ranging from 3 to 5 cases per year. However in 2012 we notice a huge increase to 231 HIV cases. The reason for this being that the majority of drug users do not have access to clean syringes due to the closing down of harm reduction programmes. Not only is this giving an increase in the death toll, financially too, it does not make sense for the government to not give support to these various organizations.

Needle and syringe programs cost just €500 per person per year, as opposed to €6,000 for HIV treatment. In 2010, 4 out of the 6 open organizations were forced to shut down due to a drop of international funding from such organizations as European Union, United Nations and Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

The Romanian government is still ignoring their citizens’ plea for help and the reason for doing so simply does not make sense. Every day that support is not given, is another day that people are at risk of preventable deaths and blood borne viruses. If you feel like this is something that the government SHOULD be looking at and should be giving funding to, PLEASE sign the following petition asking the Romanian government to give support to the different harm reduction organization, as an effort to increase the availability of syringe exchange programmes and opiate substitution programmes.

An interview with Valentin Siminov, giving a greater insight on what is actually happening in Romania