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Sat Dec 1, 2012, 01:40 PM

World AIDS Day: We Can’t “Get to Zero” Until We End the Drug War


AlterNet / By Jag Davies

World AIDS Day: We Can’t “Get to Zero” Until We End the Drug War
The global war on drugs is severely jeopardizing the overall "fight against AIDS."

December 1, 2012 |


The official theme of this year’s World AIDS Day is “Getting to Zero.” As we acknowledge the vast suffering of the hundreds of millions of people who have been infected or impacted by HIV/AIDS on December 1st, it is impossible to ignore an inconvenient truth: that the global war on drugs is severely jeopardizing the overall "fight against AIDS."

Throughout the world, research has consistently shown that drug criminalization forces people who use drugs away from public health services and into hidden environments where HIV risks become significantly elevated. Mass incarceration of nonviolent drug offenders also plays a major role in spreading the pandemic, as inhumane conditions and lack of HIV prevention or treatment measures in prison lead to HIV outbreaks and AIDS cases behind bars – and among families and communities once those imprisoned are released.

Roughly 33 million people worldwide are currently living with HIV – and injection drug use accounts for one-third of all new HIV infections outside sub-Saharan Africa. New infections have been falling since the late 1990s, but HIV incidence has increased by more than 25 percent in seven countries over this time span, largely as a result of syringe sharing.

This year two powerful reports were released – by the Global Commission on Drug Policy and the Global Commission on HIV and the Law – with the backing of distinguished world leaders and medical experts. Both reports concluded that the criminalization of people who use drugs is fuelling the HIV/AIDS pandemic and undermining efforts to protect them, their families and communities. ..........................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.alternet.org/world-aids-day-we-cant-get-zero-until-we-end-drug-war



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Sat Dec 1, 2012, 01:54 PM

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