What is Harm Reduction?
Harm Reduction is a means of handling behavior that damages the health of the person involved and of their community. Harm reduction seeks to improve individuals and community health. With one in five injecting drug users worldwide infected with HIV and 30% of HIV infections outside sub-Saharan Africa resulting from injecting drug use, such programmes are keys to bringing the global epidemic under control. Harm Reduction is designed to keep the negative consequences inherent from drug usage to its minimum level,
Example of Harm Reduction:
Needle exchange is in operated in 77 countries, and these programmes are one of the main Harm Reduction measures, however, developing countries, i.e. the countries which are most in need in terms of this respect, are usually poorly funded to these programmes, thus is impairing the fight against HIV.
Effect of Harm Reduction:
In 2006, UNAIDS published a report on several ‘high coverage’ HIV prevention programmes, and Harm Reduction measures were mentioned to be one of the key factors to achieve the ‘high coverage’.
Russia’s influence on the Global Fund:
In 2009, Russia stressed the importance of Harm Reduction initiatives in the country -
“In Russia, the opposition to harm reduction programmes has meant that needle exchange is mostly run by non-governmental organizations (NGOs). The government has repeatedly refused to allow methadone substitution to be offered to people who inject drug, despite many international calls to support this evidence-based intervention…We urge the Russian Government to continue to fund effective and science-driven harm reduction programmes, in addition to its general health promotion efforts.”
The Global Fund then felt the need of extending funding to such programmes.
The future of Harm Reduction:
Although many countries are adopting Harm Reduction programmes to help prevent HIV, and its effectiveness has been proven to be successful, the future of...