By Thomas Cai
New HIV infections among people who inject drugs have increased by a staggering one third, from 114,000 in 2011 to 152,000 in 2015. Supporting people with harm reduction services such as methadone programmes and providing clean injecting equipment helps keep individuals safer and curbs new infections.
While many governments are reluctant to support harm reduction approaches (as was evident in the disappointing outcome of UNGASS 2016), events like the recent Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) present important opportunities for civil society to influence governments to put international agreements around drug policy into practice.
On 12-17 March, I represented AIDS Care China at the 60th session of the CND in Vienna, where drug control agencies from all over the world meet to discuss drug policy. At a side event organised by the Alliance in partnership with Aidsfonds, International Drug Policy Consortium and Harm Reduction International, I presented AIDS Care China’s experiences of working with local governments in Yunnan and Hubei provinces to pilot and promote community-based drug treatment and harm reduction service models.
Keep up-to-date with drug policy developments by subscribing to the IDPC Monthly Alert.
Thumbnail: Flickr CC Todd Huffman