Experts urge reform of global drug policy
published on June 28, 2010 by Veronika Oleksyn in The Associated Press
VIENNA – Policies that criminalize drug users fuel the spread of AIDS and should be reformed, experts preparing for an international conference said Monday.
Instead, governments, international organizations and the U.N. should promote policies that include opiate substitution therapy and needle and syringe programs that have been shown to reduce HIV rates without increasing rates of drug use, said the experts from groups such as the International AIDS Society, the International Center for Science in Drug Policy and the British Columbia Center for Excellence in HIV/AIDS. They also want compulsory drug treatment centers to be scrapped, saying they are ineffective and violate human rights.
“The criminalization of illicit drug users is fueling the HIV epidemic and has resulted in overwhelmingly negative health and social consequences. A full policy reorientation is needed,” the experts said in a declaration issued ahead of an AIDS conference that gets under way in the Austrian capital on July 18. More >>View the full article