On 1 December, UNODC joins partners in solidarity with the 38 million people currently living with HIV worldwide and remember the millions who lost their lives to AIDS since the beginning of the epidemic.
While new HIV infections among adults worldwide declined in the last years, there has been no decrease in the annual number of new HIV infections among people who inject drugs and people in prisons - in 2019 10% of the new infections world-wide ware among people who inject drugs. This is unacceptable!
These groups continue to be disproportionately affected by HIV, as discrimination and stigma limit their access to HIV prevention, treatment and care. The COVID-19 crisis has exacerbated the challenges faced by people who use drugs and people in prisons, including in accessing life-saving health care, and increased their vulnerability to HIV.
Women who inject drugs and women in prison face a range of gender-specific barriers to accessing HIV-related services, and in many contexts they remain a particularly hard-to-reach population. The stigma and discrimination that they experience is also heightened by gender-based violence and abuse.
We can all contribute to the effort to end AIDS and make the world a healthier place.
To view a recording of our World AIDS Day webinar on addressing HIV among women who use drugs and women in prison, click here!
This webinar heard representations from a diverse set of speakers who discussed challenges faced by women in prison and women who use drugs through the lens of human rights and in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.