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Jan 31, 2008

Don't give us false illusions of hope: injecting drug users

Repeated calls for harm reduction approaches to HIV prevention, treatment and care, particularly for injecting drug users (IDUs) and Universal Access, were answered with a reality check on the second day of the first Asian Consultation on Prevention of HIV Related to Drug Use, in Goa.

During a session that brought together parliamentarians, civil society activists and IDUs, the voices of several users provided delegates with a stark reminder of the reality on the ground.

“Drug users are treated as criminals, as sub-human beings” said Bijaya Pandey from Nepal.

“For the past few years we have been hearing about ‘3 by 5’ and ‘2010’—please, please, don’t give us a false illusion of hope,” Pandey said, referring to WHO’s failed initiative to provide antiretroviral drugs to three million people by end of 2005, and the promise of Universal Access by 2010.

Opioid substitution therapy (OST) and needle syringe exchange programs are not operating or even legal in some Asian countries. Only a handful of states in the region have government-supported OST or syringe exchange programs.

The combination of the criminalisation of injecting drug use and a lack of a coherent legal and policy framework on drugs, means that not only are IDUs are at risk while accessing existing services, but service providers are also at risk of being penalised for offering them.

“Bijaya, Tamara and I are the lucky survivors of the war—the war on drugs,” said Fredy Edi, a board member of the International Network of People who Use Drugs and the Indonesian Drug User Network, referring to IDU representatives Pandey and Tamara Speed from Australia. “The war on drugs is also war on health,” Fredy added.

There is evidence to suggest that ‘war on drugs’ has caused a rise in HIV infections, particularly among IDUs, across the region. The number of new hepatitis C (HCV) infections has also increased since the war on drugs was launched. HCV infection rates are believed to have reached epidemic proportions in many parts of Asia, such as Manipur in India.

“We have buprenorphine but distribution is limited to less than 10 percent of people who need it,” a delegate from Manipur said during the meeting.

Another delegate raised the issue of antiretroviral therapy (ART) for IDUs. Many IDUs are reportedly being told that they must stop taking drugs before they can receive treatment from ART centres.

Delegates also expressed concern over the lack of programs designed to tackle inhaling drug use and the lack of programs tailored towards women, transgendered users or the partners of male users.

“It is very difficult to find female drug users in public spots,” Dr Tasnim Azim from Bangladesh told the session. About 15 percent of female IDUs in Bangladesh become pregnant within two years of developing a habit, Dr Azim said, adding that there were no antenatal clinics or services for female drug users.

While we eye the goal of Universal Access for 80 percent of IDUs, Bijaya’s plea ‘not give a false illusion’ serves as a grim reminder of the reality faced by those who need these services the most.


America educates Europe on drug policy (HCLU)

The Office of Narcotic Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) - an executive office of the White House – and the U.S. Department of State organized a „demand reduction conference” on the same dates as the Beyond 2008 regional consultation meeting (read our article), from 23 January to 24 January in Budapest. This created some suspicions among European NGOs that the U.S. government wants to interfere with the UNGASS assessment process. When I asked the organizers to clarify their position, they denied that they had any intention to do so. However, it is clear that this „demand reduction conference” aimed to promote the U.S. approach in drug policy for Central-Eastern European decision makers. Most of the participants were government officials from the CEE region (Lithuania, Romania, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovenia and Poland) and a couple of NGO representatives from Hungary (probably they were invited because their participation had no budgetary implications). The event was quite fancy even with governmental standards: participants were accommodated in the most expensive hotel (Kempinsky) and the conference reception took place in the most expensive restaurant (Gundel) of Budapest. The conference venue was the International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA), a Budapest-based school training law enforcement officials from the region (as Ethan Nadelmann, a former professor of Princton University points out in his latest book, Policing the Globe, the U.S. lays a great emphasis on extrapolating its law enforcement systems and mechanisms all around the world). The agenda highlighted issues like random drug testing in workplaces and schools, drug free communities, the drug court system and „the latest research on drug abuse”. Key speakers of the conference were high-ranking U.S. government officials like Bertha K. Madras, Deputy Director of the ONDCP, Roger Pisani, Creative and Research Director of „The Partnership for a Drug-Free America” and Wilson M. Compton, a leading epidemiologist of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). The only European speaker of the conference was Neil McKegany, a Glasgow-based scientist who is known for his skepticism toward harm reduction policies in the UK.

The fact that there was no speaker who could represent European approaches to drug policy (like harm reduction in theory and practice) created a one-sided, warped communication flow that was based on the conception that the U.S. government has the key to solve drug problems while European governments and civil society went astray. Even if the participants had a possibility to ask questions after the presentations, this event did not create an adequate space for real dialoge and exchange of experiences. No surprise that most European participants whom I talked to expressed skepticism about the way the conference proceeded. If you look at the impacts of the „war on drugs” approach of the United States in the last couple of decades, you can see inhumane, agressively enforced criminal laws resulting a growing prison population, an increasing or stagnating prevalence of problem drug use among young generations, escalating gang-violance on the streets, corruption and racial profiling in the everyday work of police, rapidly increasing transmission of blood born diseases among injecting drug users and an easy access to illicit drugs among every populations (Drug War Facts). It is not easy to sell this drug policy as a succesful model to tackle the drug problems, is it? Especially not in the European Union, where the key indicators of drug problems (like prevalence rates among young people, prevalence of HIV/AIDS and hepatitis among IDUs, the size of prison population and drug related crime) are not nearly as catastrophic as in the U.S. It is quite absurd that the U.S. government aims to promote its failed attempts to reduce drug use as effective demand reduction tools, especially because of the thousands of unintented consequences they caused. For example the random drug testing of students proved to be unsuccesful according to the largest research ever conducted on this subject by the Michigan University, based on collected data from 76,000 students over a three year period in 722 schools (you can read a detailed criticism of student drug testing here).

Christina Steffner, the principal of the Hunterdon Central Regional High School, New Jersey, who presented random school drug testing at the conference did not even mentioned this research. When she was asked about the negative consequences of school drug testing, she said there are only positive impacts. She refered to the SATURN (Student-Athlete Testing Using Random Notification) study – while the lead author of this study, Linn Goldberg, MD quoted in the New York Times, “The big thing that people say is you got to give kids a reason not to use drugs, and drug testing is a reason. That is not what we found…we didn’t find any evidence that testing is a deterrent”. When participants raised concerns if it is an effective way to prevent drug abuse among students if we exlude the most vulnerable young people from extracurricular activites – she answered that actually student drug testing increased the participation in these activities among her high school students. However, the Hunterdon study was conducted by the same people who implemented student drug testing in the same school, it was not published in a peer-revied journal and it provides little information on methodology. What real scientific evidence shows is that extracurricular activities can protect youngsters from the harmful consequences of drug abuse. No surprise that many professional American organizations, like the American Association of Pedeatrics is against student drug testing. Most of the presentations of the conference can be criticized with solely using American research evidence – an astonishing proof that the official drug policy of the U.S. government secluded itself from reality. Even the drug court system – the criminal justice referal of drug offenders to treatment services – seems only a vague attempt to reduce the harms created by the war on drugs approach (the massive incarceration of drug users).

I believe that the most effective demand reduction policy ever created and implemented was that of Switzerland in the late 90s, which re-focused drug policy efforts and tackled drug problems as a public health and social problem rather than a criminal issue. The Swiss government created controlled facilities to inject drugs in order to reduce overdose deaths and the spread of HIV/AIDS and hepatitis, introduced and scaled up methadone and heroin prescription programs for the most problematic group of drug users (opiate addicts), assisted them to find housing and jobs and motivated them to proceed to rehabilitation. Last June Swiss researchers published an article in one of the most prestigous British medical journal, The Lancet, which reported there was an 80 percent decrease in the incidence of heroin use in the last 13 years - in a period when heroin users were not sent to jail en mass like in the U.S., but were provided with free, government controlled heroin! It is also an unconvenient truth for ONDCP officials that a larger proportion of teenagers use marijuana in the U.S., where pot is demonized and a pot smoker is arrested in every 40 seconds, than in the Netherlands, where adults can walk into a coffee shop and buy pot without fear of arrest. If the title of the conference – “What works in reducing drug use” – would have been meant seriously by the organizers, they had to contemplate on these facts and learn from Europe how to build up an effective drug policy framework. What is more, they do not even need to invite Europeans to learn about best practices in the field of drug policy: there are many professional organizations in the U.S. promoting science-based alternatives to the anti-drug crusade, among others the Drug Policy Alliance, the Commonsense for Drug Policy, the Harm Reduction Coalition or the American Civil Liberties Union. The question is why the U.S. government do not listen to its own researchers and civil society and why does it feel the need to advertize its failed drug policy in Europe?

Peter Sarosi


Jan 30, 2008

REQUEST FROM Reference Group to the UN on HIV and IDU

We are looking for data from around the world on the number of injecting drug users and HIV prevalence among IDUs.

Do you have data from your country?

The Reference Group to the United Nations on HIV and injecting drug use
advises UNODC, UNAIDS and WHO on injecting drug use and on effective approaches to HIV prevention and care for IDUs to help guide strategies for scaling up these activities.
See for more information about the work of the Reference Group, the international experts who currently make up the group and the Secretariat which is currently based at the National Drug and Alcohol Centre in Australia.

One of our major activities is to report on the global extent of IDU and HIV.

We are in the process of updating estimates for
every country around the world on:
the number of people who inject drugs in each country
the prevalence of HIV among these injecting drug users

Many of you may be familiar with the estimates that were released several years ago by the previous Reference Group.

Producing these estimates is difficult because in many countries there are no data measuring the extent of injecting drug use or HIV among injecting drug users. In other countries data may exist, but are not widely available.

So far we have conducted a very large search of the peer-reviewed literature and have tried to gather as much
greyliterature (such as NGO and government reports) as possible. However we know that there will be some material that our search would have missed.

Below is a list of countries that we do not currently have sufficient data on. This lack of data means we will be unable to make direct estimates on the size of the IDU population or the prevalence of HIV among IDUs for these countries.

Do you have any information on these countries that may be of use to us?

Any assistance you are able to provide will be acknowledged in the reports of the Reference Group. We have only a limited amount of time in which to complete this work. Because of this we will only be able consider material that is sent to us
before Friday 15 February 2008

More data is needed for the following countries:

Eastern Europe and Central Asia:

Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Lithuania

South Asia:

Bhutan, Maldives, Sri Lanka

East and South East Asia

Brunei Darussalam, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Japan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Mongolia, Republic of Korea, Singapore, The Taiwan Provence of China, Timor Leste


Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent & Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago

South America

Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay, Venezuela

Oceania and the Pacific

American Samoa, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, French Polynesia, Guam, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Caledonia, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu

Western Europe

Albania, Andorra, Belgium, Iceland, Italy, Finland, France, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Montenegro, San Marino, Serbia, Spain, Switzerland, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

Middle East and North Africa

Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Morocco, Occupied Palestinian Territories, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Yemen

Sub-Saharan Africa

Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Swaziland, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe

If you have any information you can share with us or you have any further questions please send an email to:

We would greatly appreciate any help you can offer us.

I look forward to hearing from you.



Benjamin Phillips

Research Officer, Secretariat of the Reference Group to the UN on HIV and IDU
National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre
University of New South Wales
Sydney, Australia

Ph: 9385 0264 (direct)
Ph: 9385 0333 (switch)
Fax: 9385 0222


Jan 24, 2008

Harm Reduction Awards

Travis Jenkins Award Winners 2005 & 2006
Jason & Ott

IHRA Awards- International Harm Reduction Association

Every year at the International Conference on the Reduction of Drug Related Harm, IHRA gives the following awards to acknowledge groups or individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the field of harm reduction:

The International Rolleston Award
Since the 3rd International Conference on the Reduction of Drug Related Harm (Melbourne, 1992), this award has been presented each year to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to reducing harm for psychoactive substances at an international level.

The awards are named after Sir Humphrey Rolleston, President of the Royal College of Physicians who chaired the UK Departmental Committee on Morphine and Heroin Addiction. In 1926 this committee concluded that the prescription of heroin or morphine could be regarded as legitimate medical treatment for those in whom withdrawal produces serious symptoms that cannot be treated satisfactorily under normal practice and, for those for who are able to lead a useful and fairly normal life so long as they take a certain non-progressive quantity, usually small, of the drug of addiction, but cease to be able to do so when the regular allowance is withdrawn. This decision epitomises a benign, pragmatic and humane approach to drug problems, and was a landmark event in the history of harm reduction.
Rolleston Report, Ministry of Health, Departmental Committee on Morphine and Heroin Addiction, HMSO, 1926.

The winners of this award are chosen by the
IHRA Executive Committee.

Previous Winners:
1992 Dave Purchase on behalf of North American Syringe Exchange (USA)
1993 Ernie Drucker (USA)
1994 Alex Wodak (Australia)
1995 Anne Coppell (France)
1996 Aaron Peak (Nepal)
1997 Luigi Ciotti (Italy)
1998 Nick Crofts (Australia)
1999 Jean-Paul Grund (Netherlands)
2000 Pat O'Hare (Italy)
2001 Fabio Mesquita (Brazil)
2002 Ethan Nadelmann (USA)
2003 Ambros Uchtenhagen (Switzerland)
2004 Anya Sarang (Russia)
2005 Zunyou Wu (China)
2006 Dr. Robert Newman (USA)
2007 Dr Vladimir Mendelevich (Russia)

Click here to view the International Rolleston Award details and nomination form [WORD:49KB]

The National Rolleston Award (Call to Spanish Nationals)
Since the 3rd International Conference on the Reduction of Drug Related Harm (Melbourne, 1992), this award has been presented each year to an individual or organisation who have made an outstanding contribution to reducing harm from psychoactive substances at a national level.

The awards are named after Sir Humphrey Rolleston, President of the Royal College of Physicians who chaired the UK Departmental Committee on Morphine and Heroin Addiction. In 1926 this committee concluded that the prescription of heroin or morphine could be regarded as legitimate medical treatment for those in whom withdrawal produces serious symptoms that cannot be treated satisfactorily under normal practice and, for those for who are able to lead a useful and fairly normal life so long as they take a certain non-progressive quantity, usually small, of the drug of addiction, but cease to be able to do so when the regular allowance is withdrawn. This decision epitomises a benign, pragmatic and humane approach to drug problems, and was a landmark event in the history of harm reduction.
Rolleston Report, Ministry of Health, Departmental Committee on Morphine and Heroin Addiction, HMSO, 1926.

The winner will be chosen by a committee comprising members of the IHRA Executive Committee, the Generalitat de Catalunya, and Grup Igia.

Previous winners:
1992 Les Drew (Australia)
1993 Wijnand Mulder (Netherlands)
1994 Catherine Hankins (Canada)
1995 San Giuliano Unità di Strada (Italy)
1996 The Australian IV League (Australia)
1997 Alain Mucchielli (France)
1998 Tarcisio Andrade (Brazil)
1999 André Seidenberg (Switzerland)
2000 Mike Wavell (Jersey)
2001 Jimmy Dorabjee (India)
2002 Tatja Kostnapfel-Rihtar (Slovenia)
2003 Mae Chan Project (Thailand)
2004 Tony Trimingham (Australia)
2005 Des Flannagan (Northern Ireland)
2006 The Drug User Advisory Group (Canada)
2007 Marek Zygadlo (Poland)

Click here to view the National Rolleston Award details and nomination form [WORD:47KB]

The Travis Jenkins Award
Since the 15th International Conference on the Reduction of Drug Related Harm (Belfast, 2005), this award has been presented each year to a current or former injecting drug user or drug user who has made an outstanding contribution to reducing drug related harm.

The awards are named after the extraordinary jazz musician and composer who died of cancer in 2004. Travis Jenkins overcame a heroin addiction in order to marry and raise two sons, travel around the world with his anthropologist wife and create his music.

The winner of this award is chosen by an IHRA panel (chaired by the Honorary President, Pat O’Hare) and receives a cheque for $500US – kindly donated by the family and friends of Travis Jenkins.

Previous winners:
2005 Paisan Suwannawong (Thailand)
2006 Jason Farrell (USA)
2007 Alexandra (Sasha) Volgina (Russia)

Click here to view Travis Jenkins Award details and nomination form [WORD:40KB]

Film Award
Film Festival logoThis award is jointly presented by IHRA and the Centre for Harm Reduction at the Burnet Institute, Australia. At the climax of the harm reduction film festival (part of the annual International Conference on the Reduction of Drug Related Harm), this award is given to the best film or documentary on an issue relating to the reduction of drug related harm. For more about the harm reduction film festival, please visit Centre for Harm Reduction (CHR) website.

Previous winners:
2004: “Hi Dad” - Theresa Wynnyk & Sherry McKibben (Canada)
2005: “Mohammad and the Matchmaker” - Maziar Bahari (Iran)
2006: “Worth Saving” - Gretchen Hildebran & Leah Wolchok (USA)
2007: "FrontAids" - Eugene Zaharov and Sergey Bogatyrev (Russia)


The worst market crisis in 60 years (George Soros)

George Soros

The worst market crisis in 60 years

By George Soros

Published: January 23 2008 in Financial Times

The current financial crisis was precipitated by a bubble in the US housing market. In some ways it resembles other crises that have occurred since the end of the second world war at intervals ranging from four to 10 years.

However, there is a profound difference: the current crisis marks the end of an era of credit expansion based on the dollar as the international reserve currency. The periodic crises were part of a larger boom-bust process. The current crisis is the culmination of a super-boom that has lasted for more than 60 years.

Boom-bust processes usually revolve around credit and always involve a bias or misconception. This is usually a failure to recognise a reflexive, circular connection between the willingness to lend and the value of the collateral. Ease of credit generates demand that pushes up the value of property, which in turn increases the amount of credit available. A bubble starts when people buy houses in the expectation that they can refinance their mortgages at a profit. The recent US housing boom is a case in point. The 60-year super-boom is a more complicated case.

Every time the credit expansion ran into trouble the financial authorities intervened, injecting liquidity and finding other ways to stimulate the economy. That created a system of asymmetric incentives also known as moral hazard, which encouraged ever greater credit expansion. The system was so successful that people came to believe in what former US president Ronald Reagan called the magic of the marketplace and I call market fundamentalism. Fundamentalists believe that markets tend towards equilibrium and the common interest is best served by allowing participants to pursue their self-interest. It is an obvious misconception, because it was the intervention of the authorities that prevented financial markets from breaking down, not the markets themselves. Nevertheless, market fundamentalism emerged as the dominant ideology in the 1980s, when financial markets started to become globalised and the US started to run a current account deficit.

Globalisation allowed the US to suck up the savings of the rest of the world and consume more than it produced. The US current account deficit reached 6.2 per cent of gross national product in 2006. The financial markets encouraged consumers to borrow by introducing ever more sophisticated instruments and more generous terms. The authorities aided and abetted the process by intervening whenever the global financial system was at risk. Since 1980, regulations have been progressively relaxed until they have practically disappeared.

The super-boom got out of hand when the new products became so complicated that the authorities could no longer calculate the risks and started relying on the risk management methods of the banks themselves. Similarly, the rating agencies relied on the information provided by the originators of synthetic products. It was a shocking abdication of responsibility.

Everything that could go wrong did. What started with subprime mortgages spread to all collateralised debt obligations, endangered municipal and mortgage insurance and reinsurance companies and threatened to unravel the multi-trillion-dollar credit default swap market. Investment banks' commitments to leveraged buyouts became liabilities. Market-neutral hedge funds turned out not to be market-neutral and had to be unwound. The asset-backed commercial paper market came to a standstill and the special investment vehicles set up by banks to get mortgages off their balance sheets could no longer get outside financing. The final blow came when interbank lending, which is at the heart of the financial system, was disrupted because banks had to husband their resources and could not trust their counterparties. The central banks had to inject an unprecedented amount of money and extend credit on an unprecedented range of securities to a broader range of institutions than ever befor e. That made the crisis more severe than any since the second world war.

Credit expansion must now be followed by a period of contraction, because some of the new credit instruments and practices are unsound and unsustainable. The ability of the financial authorities to stimulate the economy is constrained by the unwillingness of the rest of the world to accumulate additional dollar reserves. Until recently, investors were hoping that the US Federal Reserve would do whatever it takes to avoid a recession, because that is what it did on previous occasions. Now they will have to realise that the Fed may no longer be in a position to do so. With oil, food and other commodities firm, and the renminbi appreciating somewhat faster, the Fed also has to worry about inflation. If federal funds were lowered beyond a certain point, the dollar would come under renewed pressure and long-term bonds would actually go up in yield. Where that point is, is impossible to determine. When it is reached, the ability of the Fed to stimulate the economy comes to an en d.

Although a recession in the developed world is now more or less inevitable, China, India and some of the oil-producing countries are in a very strong countertrend. So, the current financial crisis is less likely to cause a global recession than a radical realignment of the global economy, with a relative decline of the US and the rise of China and other countries in the developing world.

The danger is that the resulting political tensions, including US protectionism, may disrupt the global economy and plunge the world into recession or worse.

The writer is chairman of Soros Fund Management

The Financial Times Article

Jan 23, 2008

Middle East and North Africa: Call for Proposals (Menhra)

World Health Organization Eastern Mediterranean Region

Middle East and North Africa Harm Reduction Network

The World Health Organisation Eastern Mediterranean Regional Office (WHO-EMRO), in collaboration with IHRA, has launched two calls for proposals as part of the joint WHO and IHRA programme of work to establish the Middle East and North Africa Harm Reduction Network (‘Menahra’) and strengthen harm reduction capacity in the region.

The first call is for organisations that would like to initiate or scale-up harm reduction projects in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. The projects must be owned or implemented by local civil society organisations and must be in line with internationally recommended practice in harm reduction.

Click here to download the Proposal Form and Guidelines

The second call is designed to supplement existing projects so that they are able to demonstrate best practice in harm reduction interventions, share their experiences with other organisations in the region or internationally, and demonstrate the feasibility of good practice in harm reduction in the region (through receiving and supervising study visits).

Click here to download the Proposal Form and Guidelines

For more information, please email WHO-EMRO.

Jan 21, 2008

I Love My HardCore: De retour van Walter


In Parijs worden op dit moment de mannencollecties voor komende winter voorgesteld. Onze verslaggever ter plekke over de langverwachte terugkeer van Walter Van Beirendonck op de catwalk.

En dan is er Walter Van Beirendonck. De Antwerpse pionier geeft voor het eerst sinds jaren nog eens een show, na een redelijk groots opgezette presentatie vorig seizoen. Van Beirendonck heeft, na twintig jaar vrolijk experimenteren, een bijzondere status verworven, te vergelijken met een personage Zhandra Rhodes, of Adeline André in de haute couture. Hij doet zijn ding, met verve. De collectie, die opent met Just Like Honey van The Jesus and Mary Chain (de avond kan niet meer stuk), heet Skin King. De modellen, die ronddraaien op een plateau, dragen onwaarschijnlijke kleren: groene en gele pakken die een zekere verwantschap tonen met dwangbuizen; een soort skibroeken met kleine plastic nopjes (als op werkhandschoenen). Er zijn truien met tribale Waltertjes, zoals Van Beirendonck er sinds het begin van zijn carrière heeft gemaakt, en ook hoofddeksels die zijn geïnspireerd door de beeltenis van de ontwerper. Er zijn sierlijke broeken, breed, in knalgroen of roze, met ingebouwd corset, en er is een zwartrubberen hemd met een grootgeschapen dildo.

Walter heeft ook een boodschap (tiens, boodschappen zijn dit seizoen erg trendy, ook Comme des Garçons en John Galliano hebben ze). Tired of Easy Fashion, staat er op enkele van zijn stukken geschreven, en hij heeft natuurlijk groot gelijk.

Een retour in goede vorm.

Jesse Brouns

Jan 12, 2008

In Russian: INPUD Action Alert

Уважаемые коллеги!

Вторая Конференция по вопросам СПИДа в Восточной Европе и Центральной Азии (EECAAC) будет проводиться в Москве, 3-5 мая 2008 года. EECAAC - самое значительное научное и политическое событие по вопросам ВИЧ/СПИДа в регионе, кардинально важное место встречи для обсуждения новых идей и подходов. Однако выбор Москвы местом проведения конференции может привести к тому, что голоса многих людей, непосредственно затронутых эпидемией ВИЧ, не будут услышаны вследствие запрета России на использование метадона и бупренорфина для лечения наркотической зависимости. В настоящее время эти медицинские препараты получают тысячи людей, живущих в Восточной Европе и Средней Азии, и многие из них стали лидерами в противостоянии эпидемии.

Приложенное для сбора подписей письмо содержит просьбу к организаторам Второй Конференции по вопросам СПИДа в Восточной Европе и Центральной Азии (EECAAC) обеспечить соответствующие условия для людей, получающих поддерживающую лекарственную терапию, – чтобы они могли приехать в Россию со своими лекарствами или получить лечение в помещении конференции или неподалеку, участвуя в этом форуме на законном основании, в спокойных и безопасных условиях и ощущая к себе уважительное отношение. Нам представляется критически важным, чтобы люди, наиболее пострадавшие от распространения ВИЧ в Восточной Европе и Центральной Азии, а это именно те, кто употребляет инъекционные наркотики, могли иметь возможность выступить на конференции. Только в этом случае данная конференция будет соответствовать принципам «Расширенного участия людей, живущих с ВИЧ/СПИДом» (GIPA), которые были закреплены в принятой в 2001 году Декларации о приверженности делу борьбы с ВИЧ/СПИДом и в других документах.

Мы просим, чтобы Вы подписали петицию, по возможности - от лица Вашей организации, и присоединились к нашей настоятельной просьбе к организаторам EECAAC сделать соответствующие приготовления. Кроме того мы будем благодарны, если Вы отправите петицию всем, с кем Вы сотрудничаете и кто заинтересован в защите прав людей, получающих лечение опиоидной зависимости. Чтобы добавить Ваше имя к списку подписавшихся, пожалуйста, напишите по адресу не позже 31 января 2008 г.

С искренней благодарностью,

Дэниэл Вульф, Институт «Открытое обшество»

Андрей Кастелич, Сеть лечения зависимостей Юго-Восточной Европы-Адриатики и Европейская ассоциация лечения опиоидной зависимости

Сергей Ботвин, Всеукраинская ассоциация снижения вреда

Мария Овчинникова, ФронтЭЙДС

Раминта Штуйките, Евразийская сеть снижения вреда

Наталия Леончук, Восточноевропейское и Центральноазиатское объединение ЛЖВ

Стайн Госсенс, Международная сеть людей, которые используют наркотики

Балаш Денеш, Венгерский союз гражданских свобод

31 января 2008 года

Доктору Геннадию Онищенко, Главному санитарному врачу Российской Федерации

Профессору Мишелю Казачкину, Исполнительному директору Глобального Фонда

Доктору Питеру Пиоту, Исполнительному директору ЮНЭЙДС

Крэгу МакКлюру, Исполнительному директору Международного общества по СПИДу

Уважаемые господа!

Вторая Конференция по вопросам СПИДа в Восточной Европе и Центральной Азии (EECAAC) будет проводиться в Москве, России, в мае 2008 года. Мы единодушно выражаем свою озабоченность и разочарование решением проводить конференцию в стране, где заместительное лечение опиоидной зависимости остается нелегальным. Принимая во внимание, что стадия планирования конференции в России уже завершена, мы хотели бы выразить настоятельную просьбу принять во внимание нужды людей с опиоидной зависимостью, которые получают терапию метадоном или бупренорфином, что не было сделано на Первой Конференции в 2006 году, а также при отборе следующих стран, принимающих EECAAC, включать в качестве обязательного критерия возможность предоставления заместительной терапии для участников конференции.

Конференция по вопросам СПИДа в Восточной Европе и Центральной Азии пропагандируется как форум для обсуждения и взаимодействия всех, кто занимает лидирующие позиции в усилиях по ограничению пандемии ВИЧ в регионе. Неспособность организаторов конференции обеспечить участие людей, которые получают терапию метадоном или бупренорфином, подрывают цели конференции и отвергают нужды тех, кто относится к группе высокого риска инфицирования ВИЧ или живет с ВИЧ.

Потребители инъекционных наркотиков составляют 10 процентов от общего количества ВИЧ-инфицированных в мире. В Восточной Европе и Центральной Азии, где более 1,7 миллиона человек живут с ВИЧ, инъекционное потребление наркотиков является самым существенным фактором распространения эпидемии и причиной свыше 70 процентов суммарных случаев инфицирования ВИЧ. Признавая важность применения метадона и бупренорфина в усилиях по ограничению эпидемий ВИЧ, подстегиваемых потреблением наркотиков, такие страны как Азербайджан, Беларусь, Грузия, Кыргызстан, Латвия, Литва, Молдова, Украина, Узбекистан и Эстония, среди других, начали лечебные программы с использованием данных препаратов.

Мы призываем организаторов конференции способствовать улучшению понимания преимуществ оправдавших себя медицинских препаратов, таких как метадон и бупренорфин и в настоящее время включенных в Примерный перечень жизненно важных лекарственных средств Всемирной организации здравоохранения.

Международное общество по СПИДу и его партнеры, по сути, нарушают принципы GIPA, не создав необходимых условий для участия людей, которые принимают терапию метадоном или бупренорфином. GIPA – принципы расширенного участия людей, живущих с ВИЧ и СПИДом, – были закреплены в принятой в 2001 году и подписанной Россией Декларации о приверженности делу борьбы с ВИЧ/СПИДом. Эти принципы основаны на признании важности вклада людей, живущих с ВИЧ, в эффективные ответные меры на распространение эпидемии. Исключая из диалога пациентов, получающих лечение метадоном и бупренорфином и представляющих сообщества, наиболее пострадавшие от ВИЧ/СПИДа, вы упускаете возможности для общения и обмена опытом. Пациенты поставлены в ситуацию, когда они должны будут выбрать между возможностью участия в важном региональном форуме и собственным здоровьем.

Учитывая невозможность изменения места проведения конференции, мы просим вас обеспечить выполнения следующих двух важных условий на конференции 2008 года. Во-первых, устроители конференции и правительство России должны обеспечить законный въезд в Россию и вход на конференцию по вопросам СПИДа тех участников, которые путешествуют со своими лекарственными препаратами, включая метадон и бупренорфин. Во-вторых, бупренорфин, который зарегистрирован в России для лечения болевого синдрома, должен быть доступен во время конференции для пациентов, нуждающихся в данном препарате. Мы призываем организаторов Второй Конференции по вопросам СПИДа в Восточной Европе и Центральной Азии (EECAAC) разработать вместе со Всемирной организацией здравоохранения и принять протокол лечения, который обеспечит пациентам доступ к нужным им лекарствам в месте проведения конференции или в ближайших медицинских учреждениях.

Критически важно, чтобы люди, которые пытаются снизить риск заболеваний при помощи лечения своей опиоидной зависимости, имели право принять участие в конференции. Запрещая метадон и бупренорфин, Россия отвергает один из самых эффективных методов снижения передачи ВИЧ-инфекции и улучшения приверженности лечению ВИЧ людей с опиоидной зависимостью. Конференция по вопросам СПИДа в Восточной Европе и Центральной Азии (EECAAC) и Международное общество по СПИДу должны принять незамедлительные меры к тому, чтобы изменить этот негативный сигнал на такой, который поставит интересы людей, живущих с ВИЧ, выше идеологии.

С уважением,

INPUD Action Alert: Please sign-on to and spread the EECAAC letter

You can also read this message on the INPUD website

Dear Colleagues:

The second Eastern European and Central Asian AIDS Conference (EECAAC) will be held in Moscow, Russia on 3-5 May 2008. EECAAC is the premier scientific and policy gathering on HIV/AIDS in the region, a crucially important venue for raising new ideas and approaches. Yet by choosing to hold the conference in Moscow, the voices of many people directly affected by HIV may be silenced because of Russia’s ban on methadone and buprenorphine for drug dependency treatment. Today thousands of people receive these medications in the Eastern European and Central Asian regions, and many of them have become leaders in the response to the epidemic.

The sign-on letter (below this message) requests that the EECAAC conference organizers make provisions so that individuals who receive treatment with methadone or buprenorphine may travel to Russia with their medication or access treatment at or near the conference site, in order to attend the forum in a legal, safe, comfortable and respected manner. It is crucial that people most affected by HIV in Eastern Europe and Central Asia – namely those with an experience of injection drug use – be afforded an opportunity to voice their ideas in the conference. Only in doing so would EECAAC live up to the basic principles of the Greater Involvement of People Living with HIV (GIPA) elaborated in the 2001 Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS and elsewhere.

We request that you sign the letter, including if possible on behalf of your organization, and join us as we encourage the EECAAC organizers to make appropriate accommodations. In addition, we would be grateful if you forward this petition to your constituents that are interested in protecting the rights of people in treatment for opioid dependency. To add your name to the list of signatories, please write to eecaac2008@gmail.comThis e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it not later than 31 January 2008.

With thanks, sincerely,

Daniel Wolfe, International Harm Reduction Development, Open Society Institute

Stijn Goossens, International Network of People Who Use Drugs

Sergey Botvin, All-Ukrainian Harm Reduction Association

Maria Ovchinnikova, FrontAIDS

Raminta Stuikyte, Eurasian Harm Reduction Network

Natalya Leonchuk, Eastern European and Central Asian Union of People Living with HIV

Balazs Denesz, Hungarian Civil Liberties Union

Andrej Kastelic, South Eastern European-Adriatic Addiction Treatment Network, and European Opiate Addiction Treatment Association

To add your name to the list of signatories, please write to eecaac2008@gmail.comThis e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it not later than 31 January 2008.

EECAAC sign-on letter

31 January 2008

Dr. Gennady Onishchenko Chief Sanitary Physician of the Russian Federation

Professor Michel Kazatchkine Executive Director of the Global Fund

Dr. Peter Piot Executive Director of UNAIDS

Craig McClure Executive Director of the International AIDS Society

Dear Sirs:

The Eastern European and Central Asian AIDS Conference (EECAAC) will be meeting for the second time in Moscow, Russia, in May 2008. We collectively express our concern and disappointment about the decision to hold the conference in a country where opioid substitution therapy remains illegal. Because the venue for the conference has been finalized, we write to urge that the needs of opiate dependent people who receive treatment with methadone or buprenorphine are not ignored as they were during the first EECAAC in 2006, and that in determining the location of future EECAAC events, the availability of substitution therapy is considered a necessary criterion.

EECAAC is promoted as a forum for discussion and interaction among those leading the effort to contain the HIV pandemic in the region. The Russian ban on methadone and buprenorphine, and the failure of conference organizers to address this issue directly, undermines the goals of the conference and the needs of people at risk for or living with HIV.

Injection drug users comprise 10 percent of all global cases of HIV. As many as 1.7 million people are living with HIV in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, where injection drug use is the single most significant driving force behind the epidemic in the region and accounts for more than 70 percent of cumulative HIV cases. Recognizing that methadone and buprenorphine are essential tools in the effort to stop injection driven HIV epidemics, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Estonia, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan, among others, have initiated treatment with these medications. Some 800,000 patients, including many with important perspectives to share, are receiving treatment in Europe, the United States, Iran, China, and elsewhere. Conference organizers should be supporting scale up and greater awareness of patient benefits of these proven treatments, which are on WHO’s Model List of Essential Medicines.

The International AIDS Society and its partners are also violating GIPA principles by holding the conference in Russia. GIPA, which stands for the greater involvement of people living with HIV and AIDS, is a principle enshrined in the 2001 Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS, to which Russia is a signatory, and is based on the idea that the input of people with HIV is essential to an effective response to the epidemic. By excluding methadone and buprenorphine patients who represent communities most affected by HIV/AIDS from the dialogue, you forfeit a chance for experience sharing. Patients are put in the position of having to choose between participation in an important regional forum and their personal health.

Since it is not possible to move the conference, we ask that two conditions are met in 2008. First, conference organizers and the Russian government must work to ensure that conference participants able to travel with their medication will be legally permitted to enter Russia and the AIDS conference with methadone and buprenorphine. Second, buprenorphine, a drug registered for pain management in Russia, should be made available during the conference to patients who need it. We call on the EECAAC organizers to work as necessary with the World Health Organization to adopt a treatment protocol which will allow for patients to access medications on-site or at a clinic located near the conference.

It is crucial that individuals trying to decrease their risk of illness by treating their opiate addiction have the right to attend the conference. By banning methadone and buprenorphine, Russia is denying one of the most effective tools to decrease HIV transmission and improve adherence to HIV treatment for opiate dependent people. EECAAC and the IAS must take immediate action to replace this negative message with one that emphasizes the needs of people with HIV ahead of ideology.


To add your name to the list of signatories, please write to eecaac2008@gmail.comThis e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it not later than 31 January 2008.

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