We need to set clear and tangible targets to address the issue of demand reduction. We need an integrated and balanced strategy. In Austria, we have developed a comprehensive drug demand reduction policy. From 1990s, services have started to focus on harm reduction and substitution therapy, through ways to prevent and limit harms associated with drugs. Austria puts a strong focus on rehabilitation and social inclusion of drug users.
The main focus was placed on HIV, and the rates of transmission have been considerably reduced.
Diagnosis and treatment of hepatitis B and C have recently been a crucial part of our policy. It focuses on harm reduction to reduce blood borne diseases through healthcare services.
Prevention of infections is key in prison areas.
Condoms and disinfectants and HIV counselling and testing are also provided.
Austria also cooperates with NGOs and civil society in this field.
International AIDS Conference: organised by the International AIDS Society in partnership with the Austrian government, with over 25,000 participants. The theme of the conference emphasizes the importance of human rights as a prerequisite to an effective response to HIV.
Demand reduction is essential to countering the world drug problem. We must enhance our efforts to protect drug users and HIV infected from harms.