World drug report 2014: more needs to be done to tackle injecting drug use and HIV

June 2014

There must be a stronger focus on the health needs and human rights of all people who use drugs, especially people who inject drugs and are living with HIV, according to World drug report 2014, launched on 26 June—International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking—by UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov.

For many of the world’s drug users there is a worrying lack of evidence-informed programmes focusing on prevention, treatment, social rehabilitation and integration. “There remain serious gaps in service provision. In recent years, only one in six drug users globally has had access to or received drug dependence treatment services each year,” Mr Fedotov said.

The report emphasizes the need to implement harm reduction services, the most important of which for avoiding HIV infection are needle and syringe programmes, opioid substitution therapy, voluntary counselling and testing, and antiretroviral therapy.

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We have seen that countries that have adequately invested in harm reduction services have lowered remarkably HIV transmission among people who inject drugs.

Yury Fedotov, Executive Director, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime