8 July 2016

Left behind? A call to fund harm reduction

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A call to fund harm reduction and end AIDS among people who use drugs at the International AIDS Conference 2016.

Harm Reduction International participated in the International AIDS Conference in Durban, South Africa, 18th-22nd July 2016.

The message we bring to the conference is simple: in spite of the commitment  to ‘leave no-one behind’ in the global response to HIV/AIDS, people who use drugs are at serious risk of being left behind. This is thanks to a deadly combination of missed or absent targets and insufficient funding to end AIDS among this key population.

Our own research tells us that it would take a relatively modest reallocation of drug control spending from punitive enforcement to harm reduction to virtually end AIDS among people who inject drugs within the next 15 years. What we are seeing instead is the withdrawal of much existing funding dedicated to the HIV response among people who use drugs, a failure to meet those targets which do exist, and a reluctance to set new targets.

Leaving no-one behind has to mean what it says. Without properly addressing HIV/AIDS among people who inject drugs, the world will be failing not just them, but everyone living with HIV.

Read our full briefing for AIDS 2016.

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