The work of the Task Force is guided by the UNGASS Declaration of Commitment, the UNAIDS Policy Position Paper "Intensifying HIV Prevention" (2005), the UNAIDS Practical Guidelines for Intensifying HIV Prevention (2007) and UNODC Discussion Paper "Reducing the Adverse Consequences of Drug Abuse: A Comprehensive Approach" (2008).
- Goal of the Task Force
- Priority work areas include:
- Membership of the Task Force
- Select Achievements in 2008-2009
- Select Achievements in 2005-2007
- Country Advocacy Briefs on Injecting Drug Use and HIV/AIDS
- Baseline assessment of the current status of resources, policies and services for injecting drug use and HIV/AIDS in South and South East Asia
Goal of the Task Force
The goal of the current Task Force is to contribute to the reduction of HIV infection among and from injecting drug users in the Asia Pacific region by significantly increasing coverage of comprehensive HIV interventions through regional and country level advocacy, coordination, and use of strategic information for advocacy and policy dialogue. The Task Force also provides opportunities for sharing information across the region.
Priority work areas include:
- To conduct high level policy and political advocacy at country level for creation of an enabling legal, policy and resource environment for scaling up essential services in close synergy with the UN system and other key players
- To conduct high level policy and political advocacy at regional level
- Development and use of strategic information for policy and political advocacy
Membership of the Task Force
The current Task Force is Co-Chaired by UNAIDS Regional Support Team for Asia and the Pacific and UNODC Regional Centre for East Asia and Pacific, bringing together a diverse range of stakeholders, including representatives of governments, UN agencies, donor partners, civil society, as well technical advisors. At present, the Task Force has 32 members. The members have been selected or nominated from five constituencies: governments, UN, donor partners, civil society and technical advisers.
Select Achievements in 2008-2009
- Commissioned an estimation of financial resource needs and gaps for scaling up harm reduction in Asia
- Development of country specific advocacy briefs on injecting drug use and HIV/AIDS for priority countries
- Collaboration and support to legal and policy reviews by the HIV/AIDS Asia Regional Program (HAARP) supported by AusAID
- Organisation of a Symposium on Scaling-up harm reduction services towards universal access in Asia: Models of good practice at 9th ICAAP in Bali, Indonesia (August 2009)
- Establishment of a working group to inform discussion and advocacy on compulsory drug dependence treatment centres and development of briefing material on the centres
- Sensitisation of policy makers on harm reduction, through workshops and study tours (Bangladesh, Maldives, Pakistan) and a human rights based approach to HIV response in the South Asia region by UNODC ROSA
- Development and adoption of country specific strategies for scaling up opioid substitution treatment in South Asia, including development of country-specific proposals on initiating OST by UNODC ROSA which were submitted to the line ministries in Bangladesh, Maldives and Pakistan
- Increased representation of government agencies and representatives of the drug user community and networks in the Task Force
- Partnerships with community representatives and advocacy for and support to the formation of country and regional level drug user networks
- Organisation of a Satellite Session on HIV prevention interventions for Injecting Drug Users: Lessons learnt from Asia at IHRAs 19th International Conference, Barcelona, Spain (May 2008) and subsequent publication of a Satellite proceedings document
- Support to the 1st Asian Consultation on the Prevention of HIV Related to Drug Use, Goa, India (January 2008)
Select Achievements in 2005-2007
- Bringing together a diverse range of stakeholders using a convening role and policy authority of the UN system, leading to a development of a shared vision and agenda for action among the stakeholders.
- Advocacy and action to resolve emerging funding crisis reported by two countries where funding delays or gaps threatened to delay continued delivery of critical prevention services for IDU.
- Baseline Assessment of Resources, Policies and Services for Injecting Drug Users, commissioned by the UN RTF, and conducted by the Centre for Harm Reduction, Macfarlane Burnett Institute for Medical Research and Public Health. The Assessment has been used to inform the Advocacy Work Plan of the Task Force, and may be used by countries to guide scale-up efforts to address gaps in policies, resources and services.
- Issuance of a document: Step-by-Step Algorithm for the Procurement of Controlled Substances for Drug Substitution
Country Advocacy Briefs on Injecting Drug Use and HIV/AIDS
The country specific advocacy briefs have been developed with the purpose of guiding advocacy actions by the United Nations Regional Task Force on Injecting Drug Use and HIV/AIDS for Asia and the Pacific (UN RTF) and partners supporting scaling-up of prevention, treatment and care for men and women who inject drugs. New country specific advocacy briefs will be added as soon as they become available.
Baseline assessment of the current status of resources, policies and services for injecting drug use and HIV/AIDS in South and South East Asia
In 2006, The United Nations Regional Task Force on Injecting Drug Use and HIV/AIDS for Asia and the Pacific (UN RTF) commissioned the Centre for Harm Reduction (CHR), Macfarlane Burnet Institute for Medical Research and Public Health, Australia to undertake a baseline assessment of current policies, programs and services for drug users in South and South East Asia.
In 2009, the Task Force asked Burnet Institute to update the assessment, with the aim of collecting specific information on existing activities and conditions that facilitate or hinder the implementation of harm reduction services in selected countries.
2009 Final Report - updating of the baseline assessment of status of policies, resources and services for people who inject drugs (2006) and analysis of gaps in the country responses to injecting drug use and HIV/AIDS