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The Case for a Harm Reduction Decade: Progress, potential and paradigm shifts - 2016
The Case for a Harm Reduction Decade: Progress, Potential and Paradigm Shifts is a call for governments to commit to redirecting 10% of their drug control spend to harm reduction.
The chronic underfunding of harm reduction, particularly in middle-income countries where the majority of injecting-related harms are documented, severely undermines the global response. At last count, investment in harm reduction in low- and middle-income countries totalled USD 160 million, only 7% of the estimated USD 2.3 billion required. Worryingly, with shifting international donor priorities, many existing programmes are now at risk of closure.
New modelling projections prepared for this report demonstrate how just a tiny shift in global priorities in drug control funding could end injecting-related HIV infections by 2030. It has been estimated that USD 100 billion is spent annually on global drug enforcement and control. As detailed in the modelling projections in this report, a shift of as little as 2.5% of this money away from current drug enforcement spending into harm reduction programmes has the potential to achieve a 78% reduction in new HIV infections among people who inject drugs by 2030, alongside a 65% drop in HIV-related deaths. The global health impact of redirecting investment by 7.5% would be even more staggering, enabling us to cut new HIV infections among people who inject drugs by 94% and reduce HIV-related deaths by similar proportions.
The data modelling for The Case for a Harm Reduction Decade: Progress, Potential and Paradigm Shifts was undertaken by David Wilson, Professor at the Burnet Institute, an Australian, unaligned, not-for-profit, independent organisation that links medical research with public health action, recognising that solutions to many of the major global health problems require comprehensive and innovative responses. These include novel discoveries, such as the development of new vaccines and diagnostic tests, and the better use of existing best-practice health interventions. For more information visit www.burnet.edu.au