UNODC takes workshop on damage reduction to the 5 th National Conference of Young Living with HIV/aids

Judging is not allowed! Based on this first rule, 25 youngsters living with HIV/aids discussed damage reduction, during the 5 th National Conference of Youngsters Living with HIV/aids, which took place in Manaus, in the Amazon state, on 26, 27, 28 and 29 of May.

Wearing costumes from the begining of the workshop, participants couldn't make judgments based on the costume they wore. Following this first rule, facilitator and participants discussed over the present situation of crack in the Federal District, Brazil, and about how prejudice and association to poverty and to violence of drug users have iposed difficulties to adequate access to health services and, specially, to specific treatment of the problematic use of drugs.

Playful and fun, the workshop also approached damage reduction based on the promotion of respect and dignity of drug user. "We discussed, for example, how this practice has allowed people that do not want, or can't stop using drugs might reduce damage to health and society", explained the Health and Development Project Assistant of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) for Brazil and the Southern Cone, Mario Gloria, responsible for the workshop.

Prevention of drug use and treatment of problematic user were also approached. "One of the pillars used in the workshop sustains that prevention and treatment strategies must be focused on the individual and in the social integration of drug users", said Gloria.

The workshop also promoted the use of more positive postures in prevention and treatment actions. "To frighten people, to associate drug users to violence and to street situation only impedes more people to access adequate health services", added Gloria.

Initiatives like the Global Youth Network and the guide "From Coercion to Cohesion" were presented as positive alternatives for working with problematic use of drugs among young people.

At the end of the activity, participants discussed on the poem "The Flower and the Nausea", by poet Carlos Drummond de Andrade, in which the author presents a view free of judgments and prejudice regarding damage reduction and promotes respect and dignity of vulnerable population.

Release of the "Just Like Youl" campaign in Manaus, AM

During the 5 th National Conference of Young Living with HIV/aids UNODC participated in the launching of the "Just Like You" campaign, held in the Manauara Shopping,  in Manaus. The campaign shows the youngsters living with HIV/aids next to Brazilian celebrities. The idea is to make HIV positive youth visible and to make clear that these youngsters have a normal life just like any other young person, as long as there is no prejudice.

All stories