Why Harm Reduction Is Crucial to the Fight Against HIV
Earlier this fall, an international team of researchers sounded a grim warning about the state of the global HIV epidemic among people who inject drugs. In two long-awaited research papers published in the Lancet, they laid out the evidence that not only is the scale of this epidemic worse than expected, but that most countries are failing to provide the basic harm reduction interventions, like needle and syringe exchange programs and opioid substitution therapy, that are crucial to halting its spread.
In light of this evidence, world leaders and global agencies charged with leading the HIV response need to recognize that they can’t continue with business as usual. It’s time for them to call on governments to rethink their approach to drug policy and invest in harm reduction.