We cannot end AIDS without investing in harm reduction, community-led responses and the rights of people who use drugs Harm Reduction International (HRI) and the International Network of People who Use Drugs urge international (INPUD) donors, philanthropic organisations and national governments to commit to increasing funding allocations for harm reduction, community-led responses and rights of people who use drugs. We express concern amidst the backdrop of recent news that the United Kingdom has reduced its funding commitment for UNAIDS by 80%, which will have important knock-on effects for harm reduction. Now is the time for donors to reinvigorate their commitments, rather than retreat from HIV and people who use drugs.
Resources for an effective HIV response in low-and middle-income (LMI) countries are already insufficient. In 2019, US $19.8 billion was available for the HIV response in LMI countries – nearly 30 per cent short of the US $26 billion per annum that Member States agreed to mobilise by 2020. New research from HRI, identified US$131 million in funding for harm reduction in LMI countries in 2019 – just 5% of the US$ 2.7 billion UNAIDS estimates is required annually by 2025 for an effective HIV response among people who inject drugs. This represents a staggering 95% funding gap.