Feature story

Commission on Narcotic Drugs adopts resolution on scaled up HIV prevention among people who use drugs

28 March 2011

United Nations in Vienna
Credit: UN

The fifty-fourth session of the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) has adopted a resolution on Achieving zero new infections of HIV amongst injecting and other drug users.

The CND noted the 2011-2015 UNAIDS Strategy which promotes the objectives of achieving zero new HIV infections, zero AIDS-related deaths and zero stigma and discrimination. UNODC was requested to continue providing advice and guidance on effective measures to scale up HIV prevention for people who use drugs, and on how to reduce stigma and discrimination.

The Commission also reaffirmed the central importance of civil society as a key partner in the global response to HIV, including to achieving the vision of zero new HIV infections. Member States were urged to ensure their political commitment to the HIV response, by highest level participation in the UN General Assembly High Level Meeting on AIDS which will take place in New York 8-10 June 2011.

A statement was delivered to the CND on behalf of UNAIDS by Michael Bartos, Team Leader, Strategy Support and Evaluation. UNAIDS’ strategy goal of preventing all new HIV infections among people who use drugs was highlighted. “Despite major gaps in programme efforts directed to this goal, real country results in preventing HIV transmission among drug users suggest that where programmes are delivered at scale, achieving this ambitious goal is possible.”

HIV and injecting drug use 

Globally, there are an estimated three million people who inject drugs also living with HIV—with nearly 13 million more at risk of HIV infection. While access to HIV prevention services, including harm-reduction programmes has increased, in 2009 the median coverage of HIV prevention services was 32%.

Commission on Narcotic Drugs

The Economic and Social Council established the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) in 1946 as the central policy-making body of the United Nations in drug-related matters. CND enables Member States to analyse the global drug situation, provide follow-up to the General Assembly and to take measures at the global level within its scope of action. It also monitors the implementation of the three international drug control conventions and is empowered to consider all matters pertaining to the aim of the conventions, including the scheduling of substances to be brought under international control.