AIDS 2010: “HIV risks and the compulsory centers for drug users”

23 June 2010

AIDS 2010: International Harm Reduction Development Programme Satellite and Skills-building Sessions

18:30-20:30, Session Room 8

Forced confinement of drug users in specialised centres for the purpose of drug dependence treatment is a common response in Asia to drug use. Evidence shows it is neither effective nor efficient, but the model has scaled up in recent years, with hundreds of thousands of people detained from months to years at a time. The expansion of the approach has resulted in increased HIV risks, added stigma and discrimination, numerous violations of human rights and significant deflections from best practices in drug dependence treatment. As a result, the compulsory centres for drug users are plagued with high relapse rates and high financial and human costs that burden the State, the overall community and drug users and their families alike. The approach creates a dangerous ‘revolving door’ for drug users, and is an obstacle to achieving Universal Access.