Speech by UNAIDS Executive Director: Pragmatism vs. Punishment: The Case for Harm Reduction
In much of the world, the HIV epidemic among drug users is long-standing. But in some places it is newly emerging. In East Africa, HIV transmission due to drug use is rising. In Eastern Europe and Central Asia we are seeing a new upturn in infections in some countries of the region―a new generation of drug injectors is going through the same pattern of HIV spread as the previous generation. We must focus our efforts on stopping this chain of transmission. Above all, that means making it safer for those who are use drugs. This is harm reduction, and it is an effective and important form of HIV prevention and a key component of our pledge for Universal Access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support.