Indonesia has adopted a new narcotics law that once again clearly prioritises a law enforcement approach over public health and human rights considerations. The law has been criticised by HIV/AIDS, harm reduction and rights-focused NGOs for being seriously flawed in its construction and disproportionately severe in its implementation.
The Council calls for action based on the EU Drugs Action Plan for 2009-2012, which sets as a main priority the reduction of the demand for drugs, and the health and social consequences of drug use by improving the coverage, quality and effectiveness of services of prevention, treatment and harm reduction.
The Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network and Médecins Sans Frontières / Doctors Without Borders (MSF) are making the case in Canada for an effective law on access to medicines for patients in the developing world.
On September 15, the Obama administration submitted the Memorandum of Justification explaining their decision to name Bolivia as a country that "failed demonstrably... to adhere to their obligations under international counternarcotics agreements" for the second year in a row. Once again the determination presents inaccurate, poorly prepared information, further complicated by confusing language.
Approximately 100 participants from across Asia and the Pacific met in Bangkok from 28 September to 2 October to take part in the third UNAIDS Asia Pacific M&E meeting. Participants were invited to discuss preparations for the upcoming UNGASS on HIV as well as how to strengthen M&E among key affected populations, including injecting drug users.
The UN Human Rights Council, the highest political body in the UN dealing specifically with human rights, has adopted two resolutions of considerable importance to harm reduction – HIV/AIDS and human rights, and access to essential medicines. These resolutions recognise that harm reduction is a part of a rights based response to HIV/AIDS and that access to essential medicines is a component of the right to the highest attainable standard of health. This puts the Council in line with ECOSOC and the General Assembly and highlights again the isolationism of the CND on these critical issues.
In Indonesia, people living with HIV/AIDS (PLHAs) have for too long stigmatized and discriminated for their illness. The Indonesian National AIDS Commission (KPAN) has to play a more active role in ensuring that not just AIDS is reduced, but beyond that that PLHAs will no longer be stigmatized and discriminated against.
Results from an initial overview of the randomised injectable opioid therapy trial (RIOTT) has shown that clients form a 'hard-to-treat' population responded well and made notable gains in abstaining from street heroin and improvements in health and social functioning.