Despite presiding over one of the fastest-growing HIV epidemics in the world, Russia continues to reject proven harm reduction measures, imperilling the lives of one of its most vulnerable populations: injection drug users.

At the recent Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 6 International Forum in Moscow, an international campaign—organized by the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, Harm Reduction International and the Eurasian Harm Reduction Network—called on the Russian government to support critical programming for those most at risk of infection, and urged all countries of the region to reaffirm a health-centred approach to drug use.

Prior to the Forum, Canadian NGOs sent a letter to key Canadian parliamentarians urging them to put pressure on the Russian government in this important matter; this same letter was delivered to Russian officials on the occasion of the Forum. This action followed on the Legal Network’s July 2011 letter to the Russian Ambassador in Canada, commemorating the victims of Russia’s War on Drugs.

Keep up-to-date with drug policy developments by subscribing to the IDPC Monthly Alert.