Worldwide an estimated 16 million people inject drugs, and three million of them are living with HIV. In India, HIV prevalence in this group is 24-times that of the general population. Though progress has been made, the HIV epidemic continues to be fuelled by stigma, discrimination often experienced by the community together with the laws, policies and practices that impose harsh penalties on people who use drugs.
With funding from European Union, the Asia Action on Harm Reduction (AAHR) programme supports advocacy to increase access by people who inject drugs (PWID) to comprehensive harm reduction services and reduce stigma, discrimination and abuse towards this vulnerable population.
AAHR is working towards improving national policy environments for more evidence-based and rights-based responses to drug use and HIV/AIDS in six countries in Asia – China, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia and India. In India, AAHR engages with PWID and partners in Bihar, Haryana, Uttarakhand and Manipur.
To tackle the formidable environments this susceptible population is often surrounded by, it is essential voices from the community are heard at appropriate and relevant platforms.
India HIV/AIDS Alliance works with PWID community to build networks that engage with state-level governments, state and local law enforcement officials as well as health care workers to expand their understanding for the delivery of a comprehensive harm reduction package of services.