Change in drug policy needed to reverse HIV/AIDS epidemic in Eastern Europe, Central Asia

Noting the United Nations last week "announced the appointment of Dr. Michel Kazatchkine, the former head of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, as the U.N. Secretary-General's new special envoy for HIV/AIDS in Eastern Europe and Central Asia," Kasia Malinowska-Sempruch, director of the Open Society Foundations' global drug policy program, writes in this Huffington Post opinion piece, "[W]hile Dr. Kazatchkine's skills will be principally devoted to a handful of E.U. Member States and some neighbors, all of Europe would be wise to heed his guidance on the importance of sensible drug policies in the HIV response." She continues, "As a member of the Global Commission on Drug Policy -- a body of experts from politics, health, academia and business -- Dr. Kazatchkine reminded leaders that 'the war on drugs has fueled the HIV epidemic.'"

Malinowska-Sempruch quotes a recent report by the Global Commission on Drug Policy, which stated, "Throughout the world, research has consistently shown that repressive drug law enforcement practices force drug users away from public health services and into hidden environments where HIV risk becomes markedly elevated," and writes that the epidemic in Eastern Europe and Central Asia cannot be reversed without a change in drug policy. "This lesson has been painfully experienced in many countries in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, which should serve as cautionary tales for all of Europe's leaders -- especially in this critical time of austerity," she adds, provides examples, and concludes, "It is hoped that as the E.U. produces its own drug strategy it listens to its better angels and heeds the positive lessons of its recent history" (7/31).

http://www.kaiserhealthnews.orgThis article was reprinted from with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.

Posted in: Disease/Infection News | Healthcare News

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,



The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News-Medical.Net.
Post a new comment
You might also like... ×
Tele-IPT can help treat depression in people living with HIV