As civil society and global experts gather in Porto for the 26thInternational Harm Reduction Conference, 334 NGOs are calling on the international community to address the ongoing global health and human rights crisis among people who use drugs.

The latest numbers on the HIV epidemic, just released by UNAIDS, are alarming. While global HIV incidence declined by 25% between 2010 and 2017, it is rising among people who inject drugs. Outside of Sub-Saharan Africa, people who inject drugs and their sexual partners continue to account for roughly one quarter of all people contracting HIV. Globally, six in ten people who use drugs are living with hepatitis C, while 168,000 people who use drugs were reported to have died of an overdose in 2015 alone.

There are just over ten years left to meet the commitment to promote good health and well-being, reduce inequalities and provide access to justice for all by 2030, as enshrined in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In order to achieve these goals, strengthened political leadership at all levels is urgently required.