Ahead of the UNAIDS Multi-Stakeholder Consultation on 16 September, 33 civil society and community-led organisations working on drug policy and harm reduction are urging the UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board (UNAIDS PCB) to uphold the rights of people who use drugs and harm reduction in the new UNAIDS Strategy.
This letter includes six key recommendations from our community and sector and we asking UNAIDS PCB to advocate for these at the upcoming Consultation.
Now, more than ever, we need their leadership to be strong, bold and unrelenting in ensuring that key populations, including people who inject drugs, are prioritised in the new UNAIDS Strategy; harm reduction services are available, scaled-up and fully funded to meet the HIV prevention and health needs of people who use drugs wherever needed; communities, including community-led services, and civil society are at the front and centre of the HIV response; and barriers to services, including criminalisation, stigma, discrimination, punitive laws and policies, are removed.
The new UNAIDS strategy will have profound implications - either by compounding or alleviating the political invisibility of people who use drugs. We need them to show a commitment to people who use drugs in your engagement in the Strategy process.
We will not end AIDS if we keep leaving people who inject drugs behind.