UNODC models integrated drug dependence treatment and HIV prevention training for drug treatment services.

Group discussion during the 'HIV and drug dependence treatment comprehensive package' session

Bogor (Indonesia), 12 July 2011 - According to the 2011 World Drug Report Indonesia is seeing an increasing trend in injecting of heroin and crystalline methamphetamine among drug users.  At the same time, Indonesia, like other countries in East and South-East Asia has a HIV epidemic driven by the reuse of needles and syringes among injecting drug users.  Effective HIV prevention with drug users is therefore important for Indonesia's effort to contain the epidemic and recently UNODC began integrated training in both drug dependence treatment and HIV prevention for staff of drug treatment services.

From June to July UNODC is using the Integrated drug dependence treatment and HIV prevention package "This package is important to increasing the capacity for drug dependence treatment and the control of HIV among drug users and their sexual partners" said Mr. Gray Sattler, UNODC HIV Adviser, at the opening of the training. "It is

ultimately to ensure staff and services are better equipped to provide both services," added Mr. Sattler.

One of the participants, Ms. Azriah Halidha of Friends of Pakuan Support Group told UNODC "As an outreach worker, I often had difficulty when on duty because I am self-taught in this area. Therefore, I highly appreciate the teaching on counselling techniques."

Mr. Husen Muhamad, training facilitator from the National AIDS Commission, commended the training because of the diverse composition of participants, encouraging networking and information sharing between institutions. "This is the first training which includes service officers from both religious and non-religious based groups," he explained.

Dr. Zulviah Syarif who serves at Koja Community Health Centre is now open to other service options. "My perspective has changed after interacting with fellow trainees. Now that I have insights into their activities, I feel confident in referring and think we can provide the best service to reduce the spread of HIV together."  Thirty Three participants were drawn from different backgrounds; doctors, nurses, counsellors, outreach staff, social workers; from community based organizations, faith and non-faith based organizations, social rehabilitation services, hospitals, primary health centres and included government representatives.

The training package was developed after conducting a needs assessment among drug dependence treatment and HIV prevention workers in five provinces and field testing in Surabaya, East Java.  Evaluation of the training is on-going and there has been an improvement, on average by 7.4 points for trainees in the initial workshop.

The programme is supported by the Swedish International Development Agency and has been developed under the guidance of a multi-sectoral steering committee chaired by Dr Nafsia Mboi, Secretary of the National AIDS Commission and Prof. Irwanto of Atmajaya University.  Other members include the National Narcotics Board, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Social Affairs, the Indonesian Drug Users Network (PKNI), The Network of People Living with HIV (JOTHI) and Stigma Foundation.