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

  • Five things we did to help more people carry naloxone

    Putting naloxone at the forefront of everything we do has saved lives.

    13 June 2019 | Addaction / Medium
  • What Happens When a Syringe Exchange Is Shut Down

    HIV infections are surging in Cabell County, West Virginia. On April 4, 2019, the West Virginia Bureau for Public Health (WVBPH) issued a health advisory regarding a spike in new diagnoses of people who inject drugs (PWID) such that the county is likely to exceed twice the number of new diagnoses that had been previously predicted. But the outbreak did not blindside the region. After all, just a county over, the Kanawha-Charleston County syringe service program (SSP) closed last year after Charleston Mayor Danny Jones led an assault on the program, calling it a “needle mill.”

    22 May 2019 | Filter
  • Bolsonaro Cuts Harm Reduction, Escalates Drug War

    Largely unreported in English-language news media, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has pulled the plug on government support for harm reduction, instead calling for the promotion of abstinence and a crackdown on people who use and sell drugs.

    15 May 2019 | Filter
  • New research finds heating drug use equipment linked to decreased HIV risk

    Researchers found HIV was transmitted more through drug cookers than needles. Heating drug use equipment was found to reduce the risk of infection

    15 May 2019 | CATIE
  • If Canada can open 50 drug consumption rooms to save lives, why not Scotland?

    It is no secret that Canada has been opening new supervised drug consumption rooms (DCRs). But you may be surprised to discover that in around 2 years the number has soared – with over 50 open, or being developed.

    09 May 2019 | Transform
  • Sharing “Cookers” Heightens HIV Transmission Risk—But There’s An Easy Way To Fix That

    Sharing injection drug preparation equipment, like “cookers,” increases people’s risks of transmitting HIV, according to a study released online in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome on April 19. But another study published alongside these findings suggests a simple way to greatly mitigate those risks: Heat the “wash,” or drug mixture, in your metal cooker to a boil for 10 seconds.

    01 May 2019 | Filter
  • 329 NGOs call on world leaders to address the global health and human rights crisis among people who use drugs on the occasion of the 26th International Harm Reduction Conference

    As civil society and global experts gather in Porto for the 26thInternational Harm Reduction Conference, 329 NGOs are calling on the international community to address the ongoing global health and human rights crisis among people who use drugs. The latest numbers on the HIV epidemic, just released by UNAIDS, are alarming. While global HIV incidence declined by 25% between 2010 and 2017, it is rising among people who inject drugs. Outside of Sub-Saharan Africa, people who inject drugs and their sexual partners continue to account for roughly one quarter of all people contracting HIV. Globally, six in ten people who use drugs are living with hepatitis C, while 168,000 people who use drugs were reported to have died of an overdose in 2015 alone.

    01 May 2019 | International Drug Policy Consortium
  • People Before Politics: 4 Key Points in HR19’s Opening Ceremony

    The Harm Reduction International Conference 2019 (HR19) has begun in Porto, with several influential speakers delivering inspiring and poignant remarks at the opening ceremony. HR19 comes at a crucial moment in the development of drug policies across the globe. Many countries find themselves at a drug policy crossroads; do they pursue health and human rights-oriented approaches that reduce potential drug harms, or maintain policies of criminalisation and repression that have long-characterised the global drug war?

    29 April 2019 | Talking Drugs
  • New “Generic” Naloxone: Expect More Big-Pharma Sleight of Hand

    It’s been less than two weeks since the US Department of Justice joined a string of lawsuits against Indivior—the maker of the drug Suboxone, which is used to treat opioid use disorder— alleging the company engaged in a fraudulent patent-hopping scheme designed to prevent cheaper generic versions of the drug (a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone) from hitting market. Now the Food and Drug Administration has set the stage for yet another legal battle over lifesaving medication—and if history is a guide, profits are likely to be prioritized over people.

    25 April 2019 | Filter
  • FDA OKs First Generic Naloxone Nasal Spray for Opioid Overdose

    The spray requires no medical training.

    24 April 2019 | Poz
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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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This content was checked for accuracy at the time it was written. It may have been superseded by more recent developments. NAM recommends checking whether this is the most current information when making decisions that may affect your health.

NAM’s information is intended to support, rather than replace, consultation with a healthcare professional. Talk to your doctor or another member of your healthcare team for advice tailored to your situation.