HRI launches the Beirut Declaration on HIV and injecting drug use

Date: 28 April 2011

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Beirut Declaration

Harm Reduction International launched the Beirut Declaration on HIV and Injecting Drug Use: A Global Call for Action at the 22nd International Harm Reduction Conference in Beirut, Lebanon on April 3rd, 2011. The Declaration points to a number of gaps in the HIV/AIDS response to injecting drug use, harm reduction and drug policy, and calls for a.renewed commitment to HIV-related harm reduction and drug policy reform in the output document of the United Nations High Level Meeting in June 2011.

Our aim is to mobilize support from a broad constituency of HIV/AIDS, human rights and development organisations globally. Over 150 organisations endorsed the Beirut Declaration on HIV and Injectings Drug Use since it was launched. This list includes amFAR, CAFOD, Medicins du Monde, Red Cross/Red Crescent Societies, the Executive Director of the Global Fund Michel Kazatchkine, the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, the International HIV/AIDS Alliance, BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS and many others. In their April 9th editorial, the Lancet drew heavily on the Beirut Declaration featuring it as a key document for informing High Level Meeting priorities.

The UN High Level Meeting on HIV from 8-10th June 2011 is one of the key international fora in 2011 through which to advance progress on harm reduction and related drug policy reform. Ten years since the UN General Assembly Special Session on HIV/AIDS, world leaders and civil society will come together to review progress and chart the future course of the global AIDS response at the 2011 UN General Assembly High Level Meeting on AIDS. At this meeting, Member States are expected to adopt a new Declaration that will reaffirm current commitments and commit to actions to guide and sustain the global AIDS response.

Of the 33.3 million people living with HIV globally, an estimated three million are people who inject drugs. They account for 30% of HIV infections outside of sub-Saharan Africa, and up to 80% of infections in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. The declaration aims to hold the United Nations accountable to their commitments made in the 2006 Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS for people who inject drugs worldwide and to push for an intensified response to HIV among people who use drugs. The Beirut Declaration on HIV and Injecting Drug Use is available online now in English, Spanish, Arabic and Russian (French coming soon).

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For the April 9th Lancet editorial pdf version, please click here

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