Harm reduction programmes and practices aim to reduce the harms associated with drug use. These include needle and syringe programmes, opioid substitution therapy, drug consumption rooms and overdose prevention.

Harm reduction: latest news

Harm reduction resources

  • Transmission facts

    HIV can only be passed on when one person's body fluids get inside another person. HIV can be passed on during sex without a condom,...

    From: The basics

    Information level Level 1
  • Injecting drug use

    Injecting drug use was one of the earliest routes of HIV transmission identified in the early 1980s, because epidemiologists quickly noticed that HIV infection was...

    From: HIV transmission & testing

    Information level Level 4
  • Safer drug use

    HIV and other blood-borne viruses can be transmitted via unsafe injecting practices. These unsafe practices include sharing injecting equipment such as water, spoons and filters, but the most...

    From: HIV transmission & testing

    Information level Level 4

Harm reduction features

Harm reduction news from aidsmap

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Harm reduction news selected from other sources

  • The Explainer: Why haven't any supervised drug injection centres opened in Ireland?

    In this episode of The Explainer, TheJournal.ie‘s Cormac Fitzgerald and Christine Bohan delve into the current situation around supervised drug injection centres in Ireland, how Irish politicians have lagged behind on drug policy, the concerns expressed around opening the pilot scheme in Dublin city centre, as well as the facts behind their effectiveness. Listen via Soundcloud below or tap the buttons to listen on iOS or Android.

    12 hours ago | The Journal
  • Cocaine injecting and homelessness 'behind Glasgow HIV rise'

    A rise in cocaine injecting and homelessness are behind a 10-fold increase in HIV infection among drug users in Glasgow, research suggests.

    10 April 2019 | BBC News
  • HIV Incidence and Risk Behaviours of People Who Inject Drugs in Bangkok, 1995–2012

    HIV incidence in people who inject drugs in Bangkok declined from 5.7 per 100 person-years during the cohort study, to 2.7 per 100 person-years in the vaccine trial, to 0.7 per 100 person-years among PrEP study placebo recipients. Incidence peaked at 12.1 per 100 person-years in 1996 and declined to <1.0% during 2005–2012. Several factors likely contributed to the decline, including decreases in the frequency of injecting and sharing, improved access to HIV testing and antiretroviral therapy, and the use of PrEP. Expanding access to effective HIV prevention tools can hasten control of the HIV epidemic among PWID.

    01 April 2019 | The Lancet
  • Promises to improve health outcomes for people who inject drugs remain unfulfilled as 99% do not have adequate access to HIV and harm reduction services

    New report by UNAIDS highlights the urgent need to implement a human rights and evidence-informed approach to reach people who inject drugs with essential health services.

    13 March 2019 | UNAIDS
  • Dramatic rise in U.S. opioid deaths as epidemic spreads to eastern states

    Long believed to be concentrated among Appalachian states and parts of the Midwest, Alexander's research shows that the crisis has spread. Eastern states have seen a sharp rise in opioid deaths – with Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, New Hampshire and Ohio among the states with the highest rise in opioid-related deaths.

    13 March 2019 | Medical Xpress
  • Overdue for a Change: Scaling Up Supervised Consumption Services in Canada

    This report documents a research project that was undertaken in 2018 to explore the current state of supervised consumption services (SCS) in Canada, to monitor legal and policy changes affecting SCS, and to identify facilitators and barriers faced by current and future SCS operators.

    19 February 2019 | Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network
  • Safe consumption sites: Study identifies policy change strategies and challenges

    A new qualitative study from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health identifies several key lessons from early efforts to establish sanctioned safe consumption sites in five US communities. The results offer insights on one approach some localities are exploring to address the escalating drug overdose crisis in the US.

    15 February 2019 | Eurekalert Medicine & Health
  • Safe Injection Site for Opioid Users Faces Trump Administration Crackdown

    A Philadelphia group was set to open the facility to help prevent overdose deaths. But the Justice Department says it would “normalize” the use of deadly drugs.

    07 February 2019 | New York Times
  • Needle and syringe programs cost-effectively prevent hepatitis C transmission

    Providing clean injecting equipment through needle and syringe programs is a highly cost-effective way of preventing hepatitis C (HCV) transmission among people who inject drugs and could save millions of pounds in infection treatment costs in the UK, according to research led by the University of Bristol and London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.

    24 January 2019 | Eurekalert Medicine & Health
  • Sexual minorities more likely to suffer severe substance use disorders

    Researchers know that lesbian, gay and bisexual individuals are more likely than heterosexuals to use alcohol, tobacco or other drugs, but until now they didn't know to what degree.

    15 January 2019 | Eurekalert Medicine & Health
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Community Consensus Statement on Access to HIV Treatment and its Use for Prevention

Together, we can make it happen

We can end HIV soon if people have equal access to HIV drugs as treatment and as PrEP, and have free choice over whether to take them.

Launched today, the Community Consensus Statement is a basic set of principles aimed at making sure that happens.

The Community Consensus Statement is a joint initiative of AVAC, EATG, MSMGF, GNP+, HIV i-Base, the International HIV/AIDS Alliance, ITPC and NAM/aidsmap
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