Since 2011–2012 Kenya has successfully introduced and implemented a comprehensive harm reduction programme to tackle a sub-epidemic of HIV among people who inject drugs (PWID).
People who use drugs are highly stigmatised in Kenya. Cultural, religious and social norms were against harm reduction, which was widely perceived as encouraging drug use.
To overcome this, advocacy work was done to place harm reduction within a public health context and emphasise the benefits for all society. On a government level, the Kenyan Ministry of Health established a policy framework for a national HIV and harm reduction response targeting PWID. The National AIDS and STI Control Program (NASCOP) developed standard operating guidelines for initiating harm reduction.
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Thumbnail: CC Community Action On Harm Reduction