International Journal on Drug Policy addresses Drugs and HIV from a harm reduction perspective

Brasilia, 20 February 2015 - Science Addressing Drugs and HIV: State of the Art of Harm Reduction was the theme of the International Journal on Drug Policy volume 26. The publication was funded by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). 

The volume assembled 6 articles and 1 Scientific Statement based on thematic articles and discussions presented in March 2014, in Vienna, during a scientific consultation entitled "Science addressing Drugs and HIV: State of the Art". The consultation brought together scientists to discuss the latest developments in prevention and treatment of HIV and AIDS as it relates to drug use. 

The articles assembled on the volume 26 of the Journal addresses revolved around themes that were pre-identified by UNODC, in consultation with its civil society partners during the consultation in Vienna. These were: 1) The cost effectiveness of harm reduction; 2) HIV, drugs and the legal environment; 3) Women and Drugs; 4) Harm reduction in prisons; 5) Compulsory detention as drug treatment and the impact on HIV outcomes; 6) Prevention, treatment and care of hepatitis C among people who inject drugs. 

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Unsafe injecting drug use continues to drive the HIV epidemics in many countries around the world. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the Joint United Nations Programme on AIDS (UNAIDS), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Bank estimate that there are 12.7 million people who inject drugs globally. Among them, 13.1 per cent or 1.7 million people are living with HIV. To respond to HIV and associated epidemics among people who inject drugs, WHO, UNODC and UNAIDS have jointly recommended a harm reduction approach, aimed at reducing the risk of acquiring and improving treatment and care of HIV, hepatitis, and TB. 

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