UNODC hosts GT/UNAIDS meeting in Brasília

GT/UNAIDS sobre Drogas no UNODC

Brasília, 20 November 2014 - The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) hosted in Brasília, on 23 October 2014, the United Nations Extended Thematic Group on HIV/Aids (GT/UNAIDS), approaching for the first time the drug issues within the current policy debate on the Aids epidemic context.

Four lectures were made during this meeting. Rafael Franzini, the representative of UNODC Liaison and Partnership Office in Brazil discussed about today's drug users and HIV carriers' condition in the prison settings, focusing on the last Global Consultation on HIV Prevention, Treatment, Care and Support in Prison Settings, which took place in Vienna last October.

Later on, the National Policies on Drugs Secretariat's (SENAD) Drug Policies Articulation and Coordination Director Leon de Souza Lobo Gracia presented the "National Survey on the Use of Crack - Who are the crack users and/or similar in Brazil? How much are they in Brazilian capitals?", a research conducted by the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (FIOCRUZ) in a collaboration with SENAD.  This survey demonstrates that crack cannot be seen as the only drug existing in Brazil, with hazardous potential to the population, because other illicit drugs are also present in the everyday life of the Brazilians. Moreover, it points out that the social vulnerabilities are the main marks of the users, highlighting that the crack use in Brazil is a social problem. The research also shows that among women 8.17% were HIV carriers, while the index among men reached 4.01%.

Following the debate, Ana Lúcia Amstalden Coordinator of the Civil Society Prevention and Articulation of the Brazilian STD, Aids and Viral Hepatitis Department discussed about drugs and the HIV epidemic in Brazil, showing data of the same FIOCRUZ research presented by Mr. Leon de Souza. The study, which describes both socio-demographic and behavioural characteristics of this population, reveals that HIV infection is eight times higher among crack users than in the general population.

At last, the Brazilian General Coordination of Mental Health, Alcohol, and other Drugs coordinator Roberto Tykanori made a lecture on the Brazilian Health Care System and Attention to the People who Use Drugs in Brazil, citing as a good practice example the Programa de Braços Abertos, which has been implemented by the municipality of São Paulo since January 2014, in the city's downtown.  This program has already registered almost 400 crack users in order to offer housing, job, food, health assistance, and professional capacitation.

This meeting was attended by representatives of other United Nations agencies, government branches, members of civil society and cooperation partners.

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