212972 Rights-based Approaches to HIV Prevention Among Drug Users

Tuesday, November 10, 2009: 2:54 PM

Salaam Semaan, DrPH , National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, & TB Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA
Don Des Jarlais, PhD , Chemical Dependency Institute, Beth Israel Medical Center, New York, NY
Kasia Malinowska-Sempruch, MSW , Global Drug Policy Program C/O Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights, Open Society Institute, Warszawa, Poland
Alexandra Kirby, MA , Global Drug Policy Program, Open Society Institute, Warszawa, Poland
Tanya Telfair Sharpe, PhD, MS , Nchhstp, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA
Human rights protections include national and international responsibilities for health protection using evidence-based public health strategies. The HIV/AIDS epidemic has played a significant role in bringing human rights and public health together. We focus on how human rights considerations apply to the health of persons who use illicit drugs in the context of HIV prevention and treatment. There are about 16 million injection drug users in 148 countries, of whom 10 million live in developing and transitional countries, and 3 million are infected with HIV. We examine three relevant aspects of drug use: prevention and treatment of drug dependence, prevention and control of HIV infection among drug users, and drug use and incarceration. The right to optimal health includes prevention and treatment for drug dependence, including prevention of initiation of drug use, addressing social determinants of drug use, opioid substitution therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, contingency management therapy, and therapeutic communities and residential programs. Programs for prevention and treatment of HIV include needle and syringe exchange programs, pharmacy-based distribution of sterile needles and syringes, and HIV antiretroviral therapy for HIV-positive drug users. Expansion of the role of prisons regarding services for drug users include offering drug treatment and sterile needles and syringes. Respecting the human rights of persons who use drugs includes reducing the current reliance in many countries on law enforcement policies that have not been effective in prevention or control of drug use or in controlling HIV among drug users, and implementing sufficiently scaled and evidence-based public health programs.

Learning Objectives:
By the end of the session participants will be able to: 1. Articulate the application of human rights to HIV prevention among drug users 2. Enumerate several evidence-based strategies for prevention and control of drug use and for prevention and control of HIV among drug users 3. Discuss how the HIV epidemic has served as a catalyst to bring together human rights and public health 4. Discuss how human rights protections apply to drug users: a vulnerable population that is stigmatized

Keywords: Public Health, Human Rights

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Masters and Doctorate of Public Health; Health Scientist
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.