By Péter Sárosi / Drugreporter
Currently, there is no central or local government funding earmarked for HIV prevention services for key populations including for people who inject drugs and no funding mechanism in place for non-governmental organisations in Romania.
As a consequence, ARAS - the main provider in this field since 2001 with an annual coverage of around 3,500 people who use drugs - publicly announced in early February the closure of its mobile unit service (as of 31 December 2020) due to the lack of funds.
Despite existing evidence on an HIV concentrated epidemic among for people who inject drugs (PWID) in Bucharest, Romania, since the end of the Global Fund Programmes on HIV in 2010, very little resources were allocated to sustain HIV prevention services for PWID and no formal mechanism was developed for subcontracting the harm reduction services performed by civil society organizations.
Additionally, the drop-in centre for vulnerable populations run by the same organisation has also significantly reduced its harm reduction activities for the same reason.