Global mapping of harm reduction services for women who use drugs


Global mapping of harm reduction services for women who use drugs

7 December 2021

The global spread of harm reduction services is stalling, a continuation of a trend first observed in 20121.

Women are estimated to account for one third people who use drugs globally yet are consistently reported to have less access to harm reduction services and to be at higher risk of HIV and hepatitis C infection. Tools do exist to enable harm reduction services to increase their relevance and reach for women who use drugs (WUD). These include use of a gender lens and gender mainstreaming in planning and service delivery. Services that have introduced such approaches are thin on the ground and where these do exist, it is often difficult or not possible to document and promote the outcome. As a result, robust data on this subject is scarce. In addition, research on drug use and related health issues rarely produces information about women and harm reduction.

In this context, to leverage greater accountability from governments that have endorsed UN guidelines and resolutions around the provision of services for WUD, it is important to document and promote such services where they do exist. By documenting successful harm reduction services for women, models can be incorporated, replicated, resourced and established.

With this in mind, the Women and Harm Reduction International Network (WHRIN) undertook surveys and desk research to map women friendly harm reduction services around the world. This report provides a summary of regional findings as well as common global trends. Also included is a ‘living’ listing by Regions of services with a brief description and links for more detail where available.

WHRIN invite readers to add to this list - where exiting services are not listed, details of services are incomplete or are incorrect.