Advocacy guide: HIV/AIDS prevention among injecting drug users

9 June 2004

Advocacy guide : HIV for IDU

ISBN 92 4 159182 X

The World Health Organization (WHO), the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and the United Nations Offi ce on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) developed this guide jointly based on a wealth of experiences by individuals, institutions and nongovernmental and international organizations on the role of advocacy in establishing HIV/AIDS prevention and care programmes for injecting drug users (IDUs). It builds on several publications on general advocacy and specifi c advocacy programmes for HIV/AIDS, which are referred to Chapter 13.

HIV/AIDS among IDUs remains a neglected issue. Although policy-makers, programme planners at the community and national levels and international donors have paid increasing attention to HIV/AIDS in recent years, the specifi c epidemics of HIV/AIDS among IDUs and the response needed have attracted much less attention and funding. Efforts have been made within the United Nations to harmonize policies on global drug control and HIV/AIDS prevention and to build interagency collaborative mechanisms; however, country-level capacity to address HIV/AIDS among IDUs remains low. Prevention services remain extremely limited in most places. Care and support services frequently remain unavailable for IDUs and are not tailored to their specifi c needs, even where programming and funding for HIV/AIDS prevention has considerably expanded otherwise. A review of country responses in 2002 noted that IDUs tend to be excluded from highly active antiretroviral therapy, and often even from basic primary care, almost everywhere. An extra effort is therefore necessary to promote equal HIV/AIDS prevention and care among IDUs.