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Mar 27, 2008

URGENT!!! Call For Applicatins For Civil Society Speakers 2008 High Level Meeting on AIDS

Applications must be completed IN ENGLISH
and received no later than
30 March 2008 – No extension

La version française (

La versión en español (

Перевод на русский (

English version (

To download application, please go to

1. Plenary Speaker (a Person Openly Living with HIV)

2. Speakers at the Informal Interactive Civil Society Hearing

3. Speakers on Panels


On 10-11 June 2008, a High-Level Meeting will be convened in New York by the United Nations General Assembly to undertake a comprehensive review of the progress achieved in realizing the 2001 Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS and the 2006 Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS.

Opening plenary: In accordance with the resolution adopted by the General Assembly that sets out the organizational arrangements for this meeting, one person from civil society who is openly living with HIV will be invited to speak at the opening plenary session of the High Level Meeting. The other plenary speakers will be the Secretary General of the United Nations, the President of the UN General Assembly, the Executive Director of UNAIDS, and an eminent person (to be selected). For more information, see the organizational resolution for the Meeting at:

Civil society hearing: A 2 hour interactive hearing will be chaired by the President of the General Assembly with approximately 10 speakers from civil society. The dialogue will provide an opportunity to exchange views with representatives of governments. The format for the hearing and specific topics are still under discussion.

Panels: Five panel sessions will be held on specific themes that have not yet been selected but that will be drawn from the report being prepared for the meeting by the UN Secretary General. Speakers from civil society may also be members of each panel along with representatives of governments and inter-governmental organizations.

Applications Process

A Civil Society Task Force has been established to advise the President of the United Nations General Assembly on preparations for the High Level Meeting. The Task Force has been asked to propose the names of civil society speakers (including business/private sector) for the opening plenary, civil society hearing and panels. The Task Force has therefore established criteria for selection and a speaker application process, including criteria and timelines, given below.

Individuals are asked to apply on their own behalf and must complete and return the Application Form. Some people may have indicated their interest to be a speaker when they applied for accreditation or registered online to attend the High Level Meeting. These persons must still complete and return the provided Application Form, as it contains supplementary information to facilitate the review and selection process.

Applications are strongly encouraged from: women; young people; sex workers; people who use drugs; men who have sex with men; trans-gendered persons, ex-prisoners; migrants; refugees and internally displaced persons; and people in conflict and post conflict situations.

People living with HIV who attend the High Level Meeting and are prepared to speak from their experience as an openly HIV+ person, need to be comfortable that their status may become widely known due to the possibility of broad media coverage. In addition, people living with HIV will be required to apply for a visa to enter the US and a waiver because of their HIV status.


The Civil Society Task Force will review applications on the basis of the established criteria. Please note that short-listed candidates may be interviewed by phone. The Civil Society Task Force will make public on list-serves its recommendations of civil society speakers to the President of the General Assembly (who will then make the decisions in discussion with Member States). It will not be possible to reply individually to every applicant.

Deadline and contact details

Applications must be completed and received no later than 30 March 2008.

Only email applications will be accepted. Please send the application with all required information in English to:


The Task Force is working within tight timeframes and understands the challenges of such a short process. However, this is required in order to allow time for a fair selection process, the approval by the President of the General Assembly, in discussion with Member States, and then for the final selected speakers to be able to arrange their travel and visa requirements. Your assistance in circulating this information as widely as possible and as rapidly as possible is appreciated to ensure that members of civil society are aware of this opportunity.

To download application, please go to

Or write to and request a copy to be sent electronically


Mar 24, 2008

Draft Program: International Drug User Activists Congress, Barcelona, Spain, 2008 Sunday May 11

Dear Friends, Activists

INPUD and fellow activists from the local patient and drug user activist organization APDO are organizing for the 3th International Drug User Activists Congress. The INPUD congress is organized as a satellite to the International Harm Reduction Conference (May 11-15) and takes place on Sunday May 11, from 10am until 3pm in room 3 of the Conference venue La Fira .

The congress will address some practicalities related to the Harm Reduction Conference and many issues concerning INPUD and International Drug User Organizing: What we did last year and what are our plans for the year coming, presentations on DU activism by Spanish, Ukrainian and US Activists, a session to prepare for the General Assembly taking place later that week with also a presentation/proposal on INPUD and regional departments to be decided on during the GA, etc.

I've copied here below the draft program proposal for the 3th International Drug User Activists Congress. There still is a lot to work out by me, members of the INPUD board and the other volunteer activists involved.

I'd like to have your input on the proposed congress program. I welcome your proposals to have the best possible content for the congress.

You can email me your feedback (mail too: and you can also post it on the forum for group discussion. (Link to the forum)

Stijn Goossens

International Network Of People Who Use Drugs

Draft Program

International Drug User Activists Congress, Barcelona, Spain, 2008 Sunday May 11

Opening: 10.00am, Lunch, Closing: 3.15pm


Opening 10min.

  • Welcome by INPUD

  • Welcome by APDO representative, the Barcelonian DU/patient group, also introducing:

  • Welcome by Grup Igia/Catalan government/IHRA representative

The State of INPUD: 2007-2008 (by Anan, Luiz, etc.)

  • What we've done the year past and future plans: INPUD Asia Pacific, Beyond2008 UNGASS on Drugs, CND, EU Forum on Drugs, CSTF UNGASS on AIDS, etc

INPUD activism, presentations on DU Activism by INPUD Activists

  • Presentation on APDO and Spanish DU organizing

  • Konstantin Zverkov ('Era of Mercy', Odessa/Ukraine) about DU organizing in Ukraine

  • Jason Farrell (HRCS/INPUD) DU Organizations, Advisory Committees and NGO's: Who's Listening?


The IHRA Conference and Barcelona

  • Available medical facilities, access, guidelines for DU, etc. (Howard Lotsof?)

  • Introduction on aspects from the Barcelona DU scene (APDO/Satxa?)

INPUD administration (by the INPUD board)

  • Explanations on the GA later that week

  • INPUD Statutes

  • Board Mandate

  • Nominations for Board Members

INPUD development: explanation and proposal on regional departments (Milena Naydenova)

  • regional departments, responsibilities, regional directors, INPUD structure

3pm Closing

  • Decision on date and time of INPUD General Assembly in the week coming

  • INPUD presents/highlights the DU Activists speaking in sessions at the IHRC

  • Closing remarks, end of the Congress, goodbye


Mar 20, 2008

INPUD Activities Report Juli 2007 - Januari 2008

In compliance with INPUD-IHRA agreement to cooperate and work on CREATING A CONDUCIVE INTERNATIONAL ENVIRONMENT FOR HARM REDUCTION (signed on August, 28th 2007), Stijn Goossens – as International Executive Director & Board Member of INPUD – elected and contractual representative of INPUD presents a Report on INPUD Activities.

The Activities Report comprises the 1st four months report on INPUD activities for September'07 – December'07, as requested by the Agreement, the report for July'07-August'07, as well as the report for January'08.



  • INPUD court registration - July, 26th 2007;

  • Court decision on and a subsequent publication (required by the local legislation) of an amendment to the INPUD court registration, appointing the final members of the temporary INPUD Board. The new INPUD Board with a mandate of two years is to be voted at the INPUD GA that is to be hold in May, during the IHRA ICRDRH in Barcelona;

  • Organize an office;

  • Providing a land telephone-line and number and an Internet connection in the INPUD office;

  • Calculate the annual expenditures after IHRA's grant, introducing the estimates to the INPUD board, vote and adopt the INPUD budget;

  • INPUD Bank Account

  • Contract with the Social Secretariat HDP for the INPUD staff payment: currently 1 full-time paid employee – Stijn Goossens;

  • Providing one volunteered unpaid INPUD Administration office assistant: Milena Naydenova, ex-CEO of Hope-Sofia, current independent IHRD consultant;

  • Contract with accountant for INPUD financial administration

  • Intermediate Financial Report INPUD (appointed above and attached in the excel file);

  • INPUD membership administration: regularly updated database of the INPUD members and the INPUD supporting members – the categories and the criteria for INPUD membership were voted by the INPUD founding members at the IInd DU Congress in Warsaw. Currently 109 organizations and individuals have been applied and have been voted by the Board as INPUD members and 20 organizations and individuals have been applied and have been voted by the Board as INPUD supporting members;

  • Administration, accounting, banking for INPUD Asia OSI-grant for the GOA conferences;

  • Regular consultations with the INPUD accountant about details of the local accounting and banking regulations and procedures;

INPUD members personal meetings:

  • Organize and chair the INPUD-Europe meeting in Sofia (29/09/2007) (report);

  • Organize - invite, moderate, report on - the first N-American INPUD meeting (08/12/2007) (report);

  • Organize – schedule, chair and report on the monthly online INPUD Board meetings;

EU Civil Society Forum on Drugs (link to the report):

  • Application for EU Civil Society Forum on Drugs (August 17);

  • Advocacy actions aiming at the inclusion of the (initially excluded) DU in the EU Forum that met broad International support and resulted in EHRN offering one of their slots for the Forum to INPUD and a consequent official invitation for INPUD by the EC to be part of the EU forum in 2008-2009;

  • Milena Naydenova attended the EU 2-day Forum On Drugs on behalf of INPUD Europe (13-14/12/2007);

  • INPUD Analysis and Report on the Forum emailed to the participants of the Forum, to INPUD partners and ally, published on INPUD web site (08/01/2008);

UNGASS Regional Consultations Beyond 2008:

  • Fredy (Indonesia, INPUD Board member) attended the South East and East Asia and the Pacific Consultations that were held in Macau S.A.R. on 31st October-1st November 2007;

  • Anan Pun (Nepal, INPUD chairman) attended the South Asia Consultations that were held in Dhaka, Bangladesh on 7-9 January 2008;

  • Stijn Goossens (Belgium, INPUD International Director and Board member) attended the Western Europe Consultation that were held in Budapest, Hungary on 24-25 January 2008;

  • Guy Pierre (Canada, INPUD Board member) attended the North America Consultations that were held in Vancouver, British Columbia on 4-5 February 2008;

UN Civil Society Task Force:

  • January 2008 - the selection procedure: INPUD board nominated 3 INPUD activists for the final selection procedure. Stijn Goossens was chosen by International Council of AIDS Service Organizations (ICASO) to represent the people who use drugs in the Task Force. The first meeting of the working group took place 26-27 February 2008; 3 more meetings and the High-Level meeting will take place over the period April-March 2008

  • INPUD applied for accreditation for the UN High Level Meeting on AIDS in New York June 10-11 2008

CND meeting in Vienna

- Stijn Goossens was invited to attend the CND meeting in Vienna in the IHRA delegation

International conferences, seminars, meetings:

IDPC/IHRA seminar on Advocacy guide (17-19 September, Lisbon, Portugal):

  • Stijn Goossens attended the seminar on behalf of INPUD;

Correlation Network European Conference (27 - 29 September, Sofia, Bulgaria)(link to the site):

  • 19 International DUA, members of INPUD attended;

  • On request of Correlation Network Milena Naydenova and Stijn Goossens worked on and fully organized (incl. methadone, needle-exchange, etc.) the participation of the European INPUD activists in the Correlation Conference;

  • Stijn Goossens was a member of the Executive Program Committee for the Correlation Conference in Sofia;

  • INPUD members were speakers and presenters in the opening and the closing plenaries, in a number of panels, panel discussions, workshops, etc.;

  • European INPUD meeting took place after the conference (link to the report).

AIDS Conferences:

  • INPUD-Asia was founded at the 8th ICAAP (International Conference on AIDS for the Asian Pacific) in Colombo (August 2007)

  • INPUD Asia held a next meeting during the HIV/AIDS consultation in GOA and wrote the GOA-Declaration. INPUD Asia got IHRD funding for scholarships, meeting organization and trainings

  • The AIDS Conference in Mexico – possible IHRD co-funding for INPUD presence in the Global Village. Stijn Goossens and Joe Mahase (ICASO) currently work on organizing the event, budget, program, schedule,

DPA International Drug Policy Reform Conference in New Orleans, USA ( 5 - 9 December):

  • Scholarship for Stijn Goossens by Drug Policy Alliance and IHRD.

  • INPUD members Becky Brooks, Yvonne Sibuea, Louis Jones and Stijn Goossens – presented on Drug User Organizing and INPUD in the session Bridging the gap - the DU organizing;

  • INPUD members Dimitri Mugianis and Alan Clear participated as speakers in the Closing Plenary of the IDPR Conference

  • Stijn Goossens and Becky Brooks organized the 1st N-America INPUD meeting on Saturday December 8; More or less 50 people attended the meeting which was opened by Ethan Nadellman from DPA. Around 30 Activists applied for INPUD membership

19th IHRA International Harm Reduction Conference in Barcelona:

  • Initial personal contacts with local DU organizations, DU Activists, service providing programs, Stijn Goossens (July 10-12 2007);

  • Stijn Goossens – member of the Executive Program Committee;

  • Stijn Goossens – participant in the Program Marathon in Barcelona (11-14/12/2008);

  • INPUD members Stijn Goossens, Howard Lotsof, Jose Carbonell and Xatxa Rossello are members of the Medical Committee;

  • Developing an initial draft of guidelines for organizing events with participation of International DU Activists - (initial draft will be published soon on INPUD website);


  • Conversations with IHRD – co-finance the Global Village session at Mexico AIDS Conference;

  • Initial Conversations with IHRD to co-finance the INPUD Congress

  • Initial Conversations with Grup Igia to co-finance the INPUD Congress

  • Initial Conversations with Correlation Network to partner for Correlation II project;

  • Initial Conversations with Reckitt Benckiser to partner for possible trainings

  • Initial Conversations with BF /Copenhagen to partner for IDUD'2008.

  • Initial Conversations with Kasia Malinowska to partner with INPUD Europe for EU call

  • Initial Conversations with Kasia Malinowska to partner with INPUD South-America

Calls for INPUD

INPUD Articles posted on website:

  • 62 INPUD articles where posted during the period August 2007 – January 2008

INPUD Newsletters:

  • 11 INPUD newsletters where send out during the period August 2007-January 2008

Other related issues:


  • Online research on the state of DU activism and the DU organizations world-wide – made by INPUD (Stijn Goossens), ordered and owed by Correlation Network;

  • Access to ARV therapy for (former and current) injecting drug users in CEE made by INPUD (Milena Naydenova), ordered and owed by EHRN;

Trainings, Seminars:

  • ARV4IDU Seminar - organized by EATG-EHRN in Vilnius, Lithuania on November 24 – 25, 2007. Milena Naydenova presented and moderated a workshop on Community Organizing;

  • Initial conversations with Group Igia (Barcelona) for two one-day training work-shops on advocacy and bringing the service providers closer to the DU community. The training is planned for the Spanish service providers that will attend the IHRA's IHRC.

IDUD'2007 (November 1st)

INPUD members organized IDUD events around the world (Canada, Macedonia, Lithuania, Australia, Belgium, etc);

A sign-on letter for EECACC:


INPUD and allies released a sign-on letter for EECACC (12/01/2008) with the request that EECAAC conference organizers should 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. 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.

Local activities:

INPUD public response to a TV report on a puncture accident with HIV infected syringe in the area of Antwerp Hospital (October 2007):

  • An opened letter to more than 150 media and important local institutions;

  • INPUD article about the malicious accusations towards the local IV users;

  • Drawing broad media and public attention on the case;

  • Articles in local newspapers and online debates;

  • A public debate with local politicians, decision-makers, officials, NGO representatives on the local television;

Colloquium on DU organizing, 30 November 2007, Antwerp, Belgium:

    • INPUD presentation;

    • Participation in panel discussion;

IDUD'2007 (November 1st):

    • Organization of IDUD'2007 in Antwerp, Belgium;

    • Article “Stop the black-sheeping of DU”on INPUD web site;

    • Posters/flyers for the event;

    • November 1st, Antwerpen: outdoor advocacy action under the slogan “Stop Blacksheeping Us” - speeches, interviews for two (a national and a local Antwerp's) TV channels, few radio and newspaper interviews, online articles about the event;

Panel debate on national television:

Stijn Goossens and prof. Luc Beaucourt pro/against drug consumption rooms (06/02/2008).

Mar 14, 2008

English/Russian: Statement Eurasian Harm Reduction Network for the CND in Vienna (by HCLU)

ЗАЯВЛЕНИЕ НПО от имени Евразийской сети снижения вреда (ЕССВ) по поводу тематической секции дебатов (i) (Общая ответственность как основа интегрированного, сбалансированного и устойчивого подхода к борьбе против наркотиков в национальной и международной политике).


Г-н Балаш Денеш

Член Руководящего комитета ЕССВ

Исполнительный директор Венгерского союза гражданских свобод (Hungarian Civil Liberties Union - HCLU)

Благодарю г-на председателя! Для меня большое удовольствие выступать на Комиссии по наркотическим средствам от имени Евразийской сети снижения вреда. Спасибо за предоставленную возможность обратиться к делегатам.

Как представитель гражданского общества, мне очень приятно видеть позитивные изменения в языке и подходе данной встречи.

В ходе этой сессии много раз прозвучали заявления о необходимости сбалансированного подхода в наркополитике, что подразумевает достижение баланса между снижением поставок и спроса на наркотики; между уголовным правосудием и общественным здравоохранением. Но в реальности, дамы и господа, соответствующий баланс редко виден в докладах институций ООН или Международного совета по контролю над наркотиками. Также не сбалансированы бюджеты и действия на местном, национальном и международном уровнях. В то время как УНП ООН и Международный совет по контролю над наркотиками превозносят сбалансированный подход, создается впечатление, что они более обеспокоены знаменитостями, которые нюхают кокаин, чем здоровьем и правами человека миллионов потребителей инъекционных наркотиков, живущих с ВИЧ, которые не имеют доступа к спасительным услугам и медикаментам. Исполнительный директор УНП ООН критикует дома мод, так как модели употребляют наркотики, как и миллионы других молодых людей. В то же время, не поступает критики в адрес России, где запрещено заместительное лечение ПИН метадоном – медикаментом, который включен в Список необходимых медикаментов ВОЗ еще два года назад. Многие страны, которые восхваляются Международным советом по контролю над наркотиками за их достижения в сфере снижения поставок, не соответствуют международным стандартам по правам человека и внедрению экономически эффективных услуг по снижению вреда, которые могут уменьшить степень преступности, смертности и заболеваемости. Я не могу найти баланс даже в своей стране, в Болгарии, где правительство тратит 50 миллионов долларов на снижение поставок и только 12 миллионов долларов на снижение спроса и вреда от наркотиков; где тысячи непостоянных потребителей марихуаны принуждаются к лечению, которое им не нужно, в то время как зависимые от героина должны стоять в очередях для получения особо необходимого лечения.

Нынешняя система по контролю над наркотиками не кажется мне ни сбалансированной, ни основанной на доказательствах. Также не похоже, что она способна „сдерживать“ проблему наркотиков, как заявил г-н Коста в своем выступлении. Эта система придает особое значение уголовному правосудию, пренебрегая правами человека и общественным здоровьем; правительства непропорционально распределяют ресурсы в пользу снижения поставок, за счет снижения спроса и вреда от наркотиков. Я хочу воспользоваться этой возможностью и призвать делегатов настаивать ни просто на том, чтобы их правительства использовали „сбалансированный подход“ как пустой лозунг, но чтобы общественному здоровью уделялось такое же внимание, как и уголовному правосудию, что касается права, бюджета и координации.

Request for NGO STATEMENT on behalf of the Eurasian Harm Reduction Network (EHRN) regarding the thematic debate Section (i) (Shared responsibility as a basis for an integrated, balanced and sustainable approach in the fight against drugs through domestic and international policies)


Mr. Balázs Dénes

member of the Steering Committee of EHRN

Executive Director of the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union (HCLU)

Thank you Mr. Chair! It is a big pleasure to speak on behalf of the Eurasian Harm Reduction Network at the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, and I appreciate the opportunity to adress the delegates.

As a representative of civil society, I am very pleased to see the positive changes in the language and approach of this meeting.

At this session there is a lot of talk about the need of the balanced approach in drug policies, which means a balance between supply and demand reduction, criminal justice and public health. But in reality, ladies and gentlemen, we rarely find the appropriate balance in the reports of UN institutions or in the reports of INCB, neither in drug policy budgets and activities in local, national and international level. While UNODC and INCB praises balanced approach, it seems to be more concerned about celebrities snorting cocaine than about the health and human rights of millions of injecting drug users living with HIV – without access to live saving services and medications. The Executive Director of UNODC criticises fashion houses because their models use drugs just as a millions of other young people do, but it fails to criticise Russia for prohibiting methadone substitution treatment for IDUs, a medication included to the List of Essential Medicines by WHO two years ago. Most countries praised by INCB for their achievments in the field of suppy reduction do not comply with international standards with regard to human rights and cost-effective harm reduction services, which can reduce the risks of crime, death and disease. I cannot find the balance in my own country, Hungary, where government spends 50 million dollars on supply reduction and only 12 million dollars on demand and harm reduction, and thousands of occasional marijuana users are coerced into treatment which they don’t need, while heroin addicts are put on waiting lists to get into much needed treatment.

The current drug control system does not seem to have a balanced and evidence based approach, or that it can „contain“ the drug problem, as Mr. Costa put it in his speech. The drug control system overemphasizes criminal justice at the expense of human rights and public health, governments allocate resources in a disproportianate way on supply reduction at the expense of demand and harm reduction. I would like to use this opportunity to ask delegates to urge their governments not to simply use „balanced approach“ as an empty slogan, but to put as much emphasis on publich health as on criminal justice in terms of legislation, budget and coordination.


Mar 12, 2008

Statement by UNAIDS for the 51st session of the CND in Vienna

Commission on Narcotic Drugs

Fifty-first Session
10-14 March 2008

Speaker Susan Timberlake, UNAIDS

Statement by the

Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS

Chair, distinguished representatives, ladies and gentlemen,

The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) is pleased to have this opportunity to address the Commission on Narcotic Drugs to seek your support in breaking the dangerous link between injecting drug use and the HIV epidemic. As measures to control drugs and measures to control HIV are critically intertwined, the steps governments take in drug control are likely to have significant impact on progress against HIV.

In most regions of the world, unsafe injecting drug use is a major vector of HIV transmission. It has been estimated that up to 10% of all HIV infections worldwide result from injecting drug use, up to 30% if infections in Sub-Saharan Africa are excluded. Once HIV enters a community of people who inject drugs, it can move to the rest of the population if appropriate steps are not taken.

UNODC, WHO and UNAIDS recommend a comprehensive set of measures for people who use drugs that includes the following:

(1) needle and syringe programmes;

(2) opioid substitution therapy;

(3) voluntary HIV counselling and testing;

(4) anti-retroviral therapy;

(5) prevention and treatment of sexually transmitted infections;

(6) condom programming;

(7) targeted information, education and communication;

(8) hepatitis diagnosis, treatment and vaccination; and

(9) tuberculosis prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

The efficacy of these interventions is supported by overwhelming evidence.

Yet in spite of the fact that we know how to address the close links between HIV infection and unsafe injecting drug use, many countries fail to provide this comprehensive set of measures to drug users, who instead continue to face discrimination and other human rights violations. In 2006, fewer than 20% of people who inject drugs received some type of HIV prevention service, with coverage of less than 10% reported in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Even fewer have access to opioid substitution therapy, needle and syringe programmes, or anti-retroviral therapy, despite the fact that people who use drugs can achieve the same levels of adherence to treatment as other patients with HIV.

In the 3:1 ratio mentioned by Mr. Costa – where enforcement receives three times the resources that prevention and treatment receive – it is clear that many countries take an approach to drug use that focuses on criminalization while neglecting a public health response. A public health response would provide treatment to people who evidence drug dependency and illness and would employ health and social interventions, which have been shown to reduce the harms associated with drug use. Instead, legal and social barriers severely impede access to such health and social interventions. For instance, many countries criminalize possession of syringes without prescriptions and continue to classify methadone and other opioid substitutes as illegal. In many countries, imprisonment and forced treatment with ineffective methods are the primary responses to drug use, with little to nothing being done about HIV. And in some countries, imprisonment is compounded by killings, rape, unwarranted use of force, arbitrary arrests, harassment, extortion, and violation of medical privacy and confidentiality.

Chair, distinguished delegates,

UNAIDS supports countries to implement a rights-based response to the HIV epidemic for two reasons: first, because it fulfills obligations under human rights law, and secondly, because it is the most effective way to address HIV. In our efforts against the epidemic, we recognize that all people, even those engaged in activities that are deemed criminal, have human rights, including people who use drugs. Even where drug use is criminalized, people who use drugs have the rights to be free from violence and murder, to benefit from full due process before the law, to be free from discrimination and any forced treatment that violates medical ethics, and to receive comprehensive and voluntary health and social services of good quality, including for drug-related illness and for infections, such as HIV, hepatitis and tuberculosis.

In the Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS (2001) and in the Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS (2006), governments have also committed themselves to an approach to HIV that is based on human rights and the full participation of those affected. In particular, they committed themselves “to intensify efforts to ensure a wide range of prevention programmes, including harm-reduction”, “to overcoming legal...or other barriers that block access to effective HIV prevention, treatment, care and support, medicines, commodities and services”, and “to intensify efforts to enact, strengthen or enforce legislation….to eliminate all forms of discrimination against and to ensure the full enjoyment of all human rights of… members of vulnerable groups”. All this in the context of committing “to scale up efforts…with full and active participation of people living with HIV, vulnerable groups.. towards the goal of universal access to…prevention, treatment, care and support by 2010”.

UNAIDS is working hard to support governments to fulfill these commitments, and much progress is being made. In this context, we ask that those engaged in drug control efforts:

(1) respect and protect human rights, including the rights of people who use drugs,

(2) ensure access to HIV and health and social services to people who use drugs and remove impediments to such access, and (3) allow people who use drugs or their representatives to participate in the design and delivery of HIV and harm-reduction services so that programmes will be as effective as possible.

Progress towards universal access will be reviewed at the High Level Meeting on HIV/AIDS in June where UNAIDS is also supporting the involvement of civil society as critical partners for accountability. In this regard, a representative of people who use drugs is included in the President of the General Assembly's Civil Society Task Force for the High Level Meeting. In order to provide leadership and guidance to governments in the area of HIV and drug use, UNAIDS urges the consideration by the Commission of measures to:

· Help establish a process by which States’ obligations relating to drug control are clarified to ensure that they conform to human rights obligations, and indeed support the achievement of public health and human rights, including universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support.

· Support States to enact and implement domestic legislation and policy in the area of drug control that will protect human rights and the public health, including of that of people who use drugs, either vulnerable to HIV or already infected.

· Finally, encourage States to use the High Level Meeting on HIV/AIDS in June and the current review based on the UNGASS on Drugs (1998) to consider and intensify their efforts to address HIV in the context of drug use, including greatly increasing voluntary and effective HIV prevention, treatment, care and support programmes for people who use drugs.

UNAIDS thanks the Commission and its valuable Cosponsor, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, and offers its full support in any manner possible.


􀂃 Aceijas, Friedman, Cooper, Wiessing, Stimson, Hickman, Estimates of injecting drug users at the national and local level in developing and transitional countries, and gender and age

distribution, Sexually Transmitted Infections, Volume 82, Suppl III, June, 2006.

􀂃 IPU/UNDP/UNAIDS (2007). Taking action against HIV. A handbook for parliamentarians. Geneva.

􀂃 Lert F, Kazatchkine M (2007). Antiretroviral HIV treatment and care for injecting drug users: An evidence-based overview. International Journal of Drug Policy 18: 255-261.

􀂃 Materials produced for UNAIDS Reference Group on HIV and Human Rights, Eighth

Meeting, December, 2007.

􀂃 Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and UNAIDS (2006).

International guidelines on HIV/AIDS and human rights (2006 consolidated version). Geneva.

􀂃 UNAIDS (2005). Intensifying HIV prevention: a UNAIDS policy position paper. Geneva.

􀂃 UNAIDS (2006). Report on the global HIV/AIDS epidemic. Geneva.

􀂃 UNAIDS (2007). Practical guidelines for intensifying HIV prevention: Towards universal

access. Geneva.

􀂃 UNAIDS/WHO AIDS epidemic update, December, 2007

􀂃 WHO/UNODC Evidence for action series and policy briefs available at Ball et al. (2005)

􀂃 WHO/UNAIDS/UNICEF (2007). Towards universal access: scaling up priority HIV/AIDS

interventions in the health sector: progress report, April 2007. Geneva.

􀂃 WHO/UNODC/UNAIDS. Technical Guide for Countries to Set Targets for Universal Access to HIV Prevention, Treatment and Care for Injecting Drug Users (IDUs) (in draft)


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