Globally women and girls in all our multiplicities continue to be vulnerable to HIV acquisition and remain disproportionately affected by HIV and AIDS in many regions particularly sub Saharan Africa.
A new brief has been released that acts as the beginning of a joint effort to highlight the specific preventions needs and rights of women and girls in all our diversities.
ICW, through collaboration with the Global Network of Sex Work Projects (NSWP), The International Network of People who use drugs (INPUD) and the Global Network of People Living with HIV (GNP+) has prepared this brief.
In a quote from the brief, the International Community of Women Living with HIV (ICW) states “Together, in solidarity we seek to present insights on HIV prevention that works for women and girls in order to contribute towards the achievement of Global HIV Prevention targets and improve the quality of lives for women living with HIV and our communities.”
For more information, read and download the statement from the ICW website here.
CALL TO ACTION FOR THE GLOBAL HIV RESPONSE
SIGN THE CALL TO ACTION
The world needs a new phase in the evolution of the HIV response—one that reinvigorates prevention by seamlessly combining the efficacy of upstream, midstream, and downstream interventions with the powerful effectiveness of community action. Read the remainder of this CALL TO ACTION FOR THE GLOBAL HIV RESPONSE here
People who use drugs are dying in increasing numbers. There are more than 200,000 drug-related deaths a year. Overdose deaths contribute to between a third and a half of all drug-related deaths. Last year, in the United States alone, overdose deaths exceeded 59,000. Overdose is the principal cause of death of North Americans younger than fifty years old. Not cancer; not heart attack or stroke; not vehicular accidents. Overdose. Avoidable overdose.
The vast majority of those who have died in the last several years have overdosed as a result of mistakenly taking fentanyl or carfentanyl instead of heroin and other opiates, with these newer, far stronger drugs increasingly being consumed due to the unregulated drug market under prohibition. Fentanyl is also causing increasing numbers of opiate overdoses and deaths throughout Europe and in other parts of the world. Meanwhile, young people have continued to die the world over as a result of toxic adulterants and contaminants being present in stimulants like MDMA and ecstasy, which are relatively very safe drugs when uncontaminated and when of known strength.
Why Are People who Use Drugs Dying?
These drug-related deaths are avoidable; resources, knowledge, information, education, and equipment exists to avoid these deaths. In the vast majority of cases, overdose deaths are due directly to criminalisation, prohibition, and social exclusion. Prohibition gives rise to a black market in which the composition and purity of drugs are unknown and cannot be determined. It is due to prohibition that people are overdosing and dying in record numbers when taking drugs they had not intended to use. Most overdoses occur in the presence of another person, but calling an ambulance and other medical assistance in a context of criminalisation often leads to police harassment, arrest, violence, and imprisonment.
To be delivered by Judy Chang, INPUD
“Thank you for giving me the floor.
Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen.
I am speaking today on behalf of the Strategic Advisory Group to the United Nations on HIV and Drug Use, or the “SAG” as it is more commonly known. The SAG was established in 2014, and is comprised of representatives from UN agencies, donor governments, networks of people who use drugs, and civil society networks from around the world, all with a specific interest and focus on ensuring a scaled up and sustainable harm reduction response that is effective in preventing HIV transmission among people who inject drugs and is firmly rooted in the principles of human rights. As such, we welcome this thematic session on prevention, and want to highlight three main issues today.
Firstly, the SAG notes with grave concern the continued increase in HIV transmission amongst people who inject drugs. The 2011 Political Declaration on HIV and AIDS committed to reducing transmission of HIV among people who inject drugs by 50 percent by 2015. Yet, UNAIDS now estimate that the number of new cases amongst our community has risen from 114,000 in 2011 to 152,000 in 2015.
This is a 33% increase, during a period when governments committed to cut transmission in half.
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