CND day 3 – WHO statement on HIV and drug treatment

Services are not reaching needs and do not respond to human rights principles and available evidence. Opioid dependence is the greatest drug problem. 2 years ago, WHO provided guidelines on opioid dependence treatment. It is estimated that only 10% of people who need treatment are receiving it. New document released today. Efforts should also be made to avoid the negative consequences of drug use, including needle exchange programmes. WHO will continue to work closely with UNODC to provide comprehensive packages of harm reduction programmes. We have developed a draft strategy for 2011-2015 with UNAIDS and it will be considered in May at the World Health Assembly. We also need to address structural barriers to access to HIV treatment and harm reduction, such as stigma and discrimination. We need a rights-based approach to HIV prevention, treatment and care, including in closed settings.
Programmes that systematically provide treatment in criminal justice systems work very well. Law enforcement and public health must work together. The joint UNODC/WHO programme enhances the provision of drug treatment and care. We hope that this programme will expand. UNODC and WHO and other partners can effectively reduce the existing treatment gaps.

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