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In an era of shrinking international funding to address HIV and viral hepatitis, and competing priorities for domestic investment in health programmes, there is growing emphasis on ensuring value for money, efficient allocation of resources, and cost-effectiveness.

Harm reduction is cost effective

This briefing compiles geographically diverse evidence to enable advocates to make the case for the cost-effectiveness of harm reduction.

HIV continues to rise among people who inject drugs, yet harm reduction funding is in crisis. Financial support for an effective HIV response for people who inject drugs in low- and middle-income countries totalled US$131 million in 2019 – just 5% of the US$2.7 billion that is needed annually by 2025.

Compelling evidence from across the world shows that harm reduction interventions are cost-effective and can be cost-saving in the long-term. Advocates now need to make the investment case for harm reduction to donors and governments.

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