Thursday, December 09, 2010

UN Reference group on HIV and injecting drug use calls for evidence based approach

The 2010 Consensus Statement of the Reference Group to the United Nations on HIV and Injecting Drug Use calls for an evidence-based approach to control the spread of HIV among people who use drugs and their non-using partners. The Reference group identifies key issues and makes recommendations to respond to the dual crisis of injection drug use and HIV.

The Statement calls for a human rights, comprehensive, evidence-based approach that includes:

1. Needle and syringe programmes (NSPs)

2. Opioid substitution therapy (OST) and other drug dependence treatment

3. HIV testing and counselling (T&C)

4. Antiretroviral therapy (AR T)

5. Prevention and treatment of sexually transmitted infections (STIs)

6. Condom programmes for IDUs and their sexual partners

7. Targeted information, education and communication (IEC) for IDUs and their sexual partners

8. Vaccination, diagnosis and treatment of viral hepatitis

9. Prevention, diagnosis and treatment of tuberculosis (TB)

The report urges legislators to remove legal barriers to syringe exchange and calls for a cooperative effort among law enforcement and health workers in order to increase access to HIV prevention, treatment and care.

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