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UN DPI/NGO CONFERENCE “DRUG INJECTION & HIV/AIDS: WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE TO REACH GOAL 6?”

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Presentation on theme: "UN DPI/NGO CONFERENCE “DRUG INJECTION & HIV/AIDS: WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE TO REACH GOAL 6?”"— Presentation transcript:

1 UN DPI/NGO CONFERENCE “DRUG INJECTION & HIV/AIDS: WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE TO REACH GOAL 6?”

2 Overview  Involvement of civil society  Who is AIVL?  Drug User Networks globally  Nothing about us without us – why is involving people who inject drugs so important?  Reaching MDG 6 in relation to injecting drug use

3 Involving Civil Society  “Civil society” – within the context of the UN has generally come to mean:  Non-government, not-for-profit and community- based organisations;  Structures outside of government that form the basis of well-functioning societies;  Providing a ‘voice’ for communities;  Often represents the interests of individuals and groups that would otherwise not be heard;  Frequently involves large coalitions of groups and organisations with collective interests such as tackling HIV.

4 Involving Civil Society  Major international organisations and institutions including UN agencies now recognise the critical importance of civil society engagement.  Research evidence shows that empowering civil society improves the effectiveness and sustainability of programs and responses.  Acknowledged that the effectiveness of HIV prevention activities is critically dependent on the existence of diverse and sufficiently well resourced community based organisations.

5 Involving Civil Society In every country with a successful response to HIV/AIDS, civil society – in the form of community based organisations – have:  mobilised marginalized communities;  designed and implemented HIV prevention programs;  been instrumental in holding inactive governments to account;  influenced national prevention plans so that they meet the needs of the most affected communities. International HIV/AIDS Alliance, 2004.

6 Involving Civil Society  Governments and societies now familiar with the concept of ‘civil society’ through a highly diverse range of community-based organisations in many areas of life BUT...  What about in relation to people who inject drugs?  What does ‘civil society’ mean in relation to responding to injecting drug use and HIV?  Can people who inject drugs represent themselves?

7 Who is AIVL?  Australian Injecting and Illicit Drug Users League (AIVL)  Who/what is AIVL?  Peer-based organisation – run by and for people with a history of illicit drug use - primarily injecting drug use.  National peak organisation representing local drug user organisations in Australia and issues for drug users at the national level.

8 Who is AIVL?  AIVL has been in existence for 20 years - first 10 years without ongoing funding support.  In 2010 AIVL is a well-regarded organisation both in Australia and internationally.  AIVL has consistently demonstrated that drug users can run highly effective, transparent and accountable organisations.  AIVL represents a unique and critical perspective to government, the community, media, health services,etc.  Educate, advocate, represent and empower.

9 Drug User Networks globally  International  INPUD – International Network of People who Use Drugs  Regional  ANPUD – Asian Network of People who Use Drugs  National  Indonesia, Nepal, France, Germany, Thailand, Denmark...

10 “Nothing about us without us”  As an international network our main goal is the “meaningful involvement of people who use drugs” – MIPUD  Why “MIPUD”?  We have unique expertise and experiences and have a VITAL ROLE to play in responding to the health, social, legal and research policies that affect us.  We have the right to MEANINGFULLY PARTICIPATE in decision making on issues affecting us.

11 “Nothing about us without us”  Why should we care about “MIPUD”?  People who use drugs are not faceless, nameless people.  We are not just “collateral damage” from the war on drugs – we are people.  We are part of communities all over the world.  We have contributions to make to those communities if we are allowed to make them.  We are people who other people care about.  We are your sons, daughters, fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters.  For all of these reasons we should care more about how people who use drugs are treated.

12 Why is MIPUD important?  People who use drugs are among the most vilified and demonized groups in society.  We have been hit hard by the epidemics of HIV and hepatitis C.  We are regularly excluded from the decisions that affect our lives.

13 Why is MIPUD important?  We suffer oppression and human rights abuses in countries waging a “war against drugs” which too often turns into a war against people who use drugs.  We are often sent to prison or to compulsory detoxification and rehabilitation, instead of having access to the evidence-based treatment programmes we need.

14 Reaching Goal 6: HIV & IDU  So how do we reach MDG Goal 6 of effective HIV prevention and universal access to HIV treatment for all who need it by this year!  Resource and support the meaningful involvement of people who use drugs in responses;  Address the overwhelmingly negative impact of stigma, discrimination and criminalisation on people who use drugs;  Greatly improve access to evidence-based programs such as NSP and OST (methadone & buprenorphine); and  Support peer education among and by people who use drugs so we know how to protect ourselves.

15 Reaching Goal 6: HIV & IDU  The ‘violence’ against people who use drugs must stop before we can effectively address HIV or increase access to HIV treatment.  Need to remove the barriers to access.  Need to ‘harmonise’ drug control policies with public health outcomes.  Need to ensure people who use drugs are treated as human beings with basic dignity, respect and compassion.  And why should we do this. Why should we care?

16 Because in some countries compulsory prison-style camps are passed off as “drug treatment”... Because in many countries people are being humiliated and brutalised in the name of drug control... And because in some countries people are being tortured in the name of “health” and HIV prevention.

17 THANK YOU Annie Madden AIVL Executive Officer


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