HIV predominantly affects marginalised populations in this region, including people who inject drugs. Cocaine and its derivatives are the most commonly injected drugs in this region, with the exception of Northern Mexico and parts of Colombia, where heroin is more widely injected. It is estimated that there are over two million people who inject drugs in Latin America and over one quarter are living with HIV.
The majority of needle and syringe programmes operate in Brazil and Argentina, although there are some small projects in other countries. Mexico and Colombia are the only states that prescribe OST and coverage remains low. The development of harm reduction interventions for cocaine and its derivatives remains nascent. A lack of government support and an over reliance on international funding remain barriers to introducing and/or scaling up harm reduction services in several countries.
There is no access to harm reduction in prisons within Latin America. Immense political pressure to reduce drug cultivation and production has overridden public health responses to drug use and has in many cases violated the human rights of local farming communities cultivating coca crops.
* Please refer to the full report below for ranges, where these are available. The maps and tables on this page display midpoint averages only.
|Country||People who inject drugs||Adult HIV prevalence amongst people who inject drugs||Operational needles-syringe exchanges programmes||Number of operational NSP sites (low)||Operational OST programmes||Number of operational OST programmes (low)|