This guide is aimed at those who work with and advocate for women who use drugs in all their diversity. It equips them with practical, evidence-based interventions which will help advance the sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) of women who use drugs. It is based on the experiences of Frontline AIDS partners and others in implementing community-led harm reduction programmes in Kenya, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda and Ukraine from 2011 to 2020 through the Community Action on Harm Reduction (CAHR), PITCH, and Integrated Harm Reduction programmes, and others. It is informed by the recommendations of the Guttmacher-Lancet Commission on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights 2018 report. The guide was developed in consultation with communities of women who inject drugs in select countries, and technical input was provided by the Women and Harm Reduction (WHRIN) Advisory Group.
Part 1 describes the current context for women who use drugs in relation to their SRHR. This part includes considerations of available data; the intersection of drug use with gender inequality, gender norms and stereotypes that create additional barriers to services for women who use drugs; and gender-based violence. It introduces the Guttmacher-Lancet Commission on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights’ 2018 definition of SRHR, and the essential service package, alongside the World Health Organization’s package for comprehensive harm reduction services.
Part 2 elaborates seven essential SRHR interventions for women who use drugs, and an additional sub-section on the sexual health and well-being of women who use drugs. Short case studies from Frontline AIDS and partners’ harm reduction programmes, as well as other NGOs, provide examples of successful interventions. In conclusion, we draw on priority recommendations from the Guttmacher-Lancet Commission for achieving SRHR that are most relevant to the context of women who use drugs.