Risk reduction among drug users

Users of injecting, inhaled or synthetic drugs are highly marginalized, even in health care settings, and are one of the key population groups targeted by the Global Fund. The 5% Initiative champions comprehensive care and support for these groups in West Africa and Southeast Asia.

Sharing needles, using unsterilized equipment, risky sexual behavior are huge factors behind the spread of HIV and hepatitis C (HCV) among drug users. To reduce transmission of these viruses among this population group, medical and social care, and harm reduction policies must take precedence over criminalization.

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In order to encourage advocacy for the inclusion of drug users in national public health policy, growing support of governments for these preventive approaches is essential in the fight against communicable diseases. We fund specific projects to support such a strategy, namely facilitating access to clean syringes and opioid substitution treatments.


In recent years, the use of inhaled drugs such as crack and heroin has been increasing in West Africa while synthetic drug use is spreading among young people in Southeast Asia. These drugs are consumed particularly by women and adolescents who have been underrepresented in harm reduction programs and screening services. The emergence of these new methods of consumption requires interventions to be adapted, and differentiated care provided. Users of inhaled drugs are very vulnerable to tuberculosis, while young users of synthetic drugs are particularly exposed to HIV through risky sexual behavior.

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Our partners in Vietnam: the Center for Supporting Community Development Initiatives (SCDI) - targeting young drug users

The "Saving the future" project, implemented by the NGO, Center for Supporting Community Development Initiatives Vietnam (SCDI), is helping to raise awareness among young drug users of risky behaviors, especially sexual practices. The 5% Initiative funded this innovative program as part of a call for projects in 2015.

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