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International AIDS Society (IAS) supports UN expert's call for a fundamental shift in global drug control policy

8 November 2010 (Geneva, Switzerland) - International AIDS Society (IAS) supports the call for a fundamental shift in global drug control policy made by UN expert, Anand Grover, during the 65th session of the United Nations General Assembly held last week in Geneva.

Anand Grover, one of the UN's key human rights experts and the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right of Everyone to the Highest Attainable Standard of Physical and Mental Health, called for a fundamental rethink of international drug policy, setting out the range of human rights abuses that have resulted from international drug control efforts. He called on governments to:

  • Ensure that all harm-reduction measures (as itemized by UNAIDS) and drug-dependence treatment services, particularly opioid substitution therapy, are available to people who use drugs, in particular those among incarcerated populations.
  • Decriminalize or de-penalize possession and use of drugs.
  • Repeal or substantially reform laws and policies inhibiting the delivery of essential health services to drug users, and review law enforcement initiatives around drug control to ensure compliance with human rights obligations.
  • Amend laws, regulations and policies to increase access to controlled essential medicines
Anand Grover's report is the clearest statement to date from within the UN system about the harms that drug policies have caused and the need for a fundamental shift in drug policy.

His recommendations also echo those set out in the Vienna Declaration, the official statement of the XVIII International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2010) held from 18-23 July 2010, initiated by several of the world's leading HIV and drug policy scientific bodies, including the International AIDS Society. The Vienna Declaration calls for the incorporation of scientific evidence into illicit drug policies and clearly states that the criminalization of illicit drug users is fuelling the HIV epidemic and has resulted in overwhelmingly negative health and social consequences. To read more about the Vienna Declaration, please click here .

About the IAS

The International AIDS Society (IAS) is the world's leading independent association of HIV professionals, with over 14, 000 members from more than 190 countries working at all levels of the global response to AIDS. Our members include researchers from all disciplines, clinicians, public health and community practitioners on the frontlines of the epidemic, as well as policy and programme planners. The IAS is the custodian of the biennial International AIDS Conference and lead organizer of the IAS Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention, which will be held in Rome, Italy in July 2011. |


Reproduced with permission - "International AIDS Society (IAS)"

International AIDS Society (IAS)


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