Injection Drug Use and HIV/AIDS

41. Leading Causes of Death by Race/Ethnicity, 2008

The Centers for Disease Control reported that in 2008, HIV disease was the 25th leading cause of death in the US for non-Hispanic whites, the 10th leading cause of death for non-Hispanic blacks, and the 17th leading cause of death for Hispanics.

Heron, Melonie P., PhD, "Deaths: Leading Causes for 2008," National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. 60, No. 6 (Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics, June 6, 2012), p. 12, Table E.

42. Rights-Based Responses to HIV and Drug Use

"We reviewed evidence from more than 900 studies and reports on the link between human rights abuses experienced by people who use drugs and vulnerability to HIV infection and access to services. Published work documents widespread abuses of human rights, which increase vulnerability to HIV infection and negatively affect delivery of HIV programmes. These abuses include denial of harm-reduction services, discriminatory access to antiretroviral therapy, abusive law enforcement practices, and coercion in the guise of treatment for drug dependence. Protection of the human rights of people who use drugs therefore is important not only because their rights must be respected, protected, and fulfilled, but also because it is an essential precondition to improving the health of people who use drugs. Rights-based responses to HIV and drug use have had good outcomes where they have been implemented, and they should be replicated in other countries."

Jürgens, Ralf; Csete, Joanne; Amon, Joseph J.; Baral, Stefan; and Beyrer, Chris, "People who use drugs, HIV, and human rights," The Lancet (London, United Kingdom: August 7, 2010) Vol. 376, Issue 9739, p. 475.

43. HIV/AIDS - drug war driving the pandemic

"The global war on drugs is driving the HIV/AIDS pandemic among people who use drugs and their sexual partners. Throughout the world, research has consistently shown that repressive drug law enforcement practices force drug users away from public health services and into hidden environments where HIV risk becomes markedly elevated. Mass incarceration of non-violent drug offenders also plays a major role in increasing HIV risk. This is a critical public health issue in many countries, including the United States, where as many as 25 percent of Americans infected with HIV may pass through correctional facilities annually, and where disproportionate incarceration rates are among the key reasons for markedly higher HIV rates among African Americans."

"The War on Drugs and HIV/AIDS: How the Criminalization of Drug Use Fuels the Global Pandemic," Global Commission on Drug Policy (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: June 2012), p. 2.

44. International Federation of Red Cross Red Crescent Societies call to action

"A call to action
"The International Federation of Red Cross Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) advocates on behalf of the individuals suffering most from exclusion within an already marginalized group—injecting drug users living with, or at risk of, HIV and AIDS. In this report, the IFRC challenges policymakers, governments and donors to move beyond their own prejudices to work with stakeholders, multi-lateral organizations, civil society and those living with HIV to provide prevention, treatment, care and support to injecting drug users and their families."

"Out of harm’s way: Injecting drug users and harm reduction" International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (Geneva, Switzerland: December 2010), p. 3.

45. Russian Federation Policy Toward HIV and IDU

"The Russian Federation is facing a deadly epidemic of acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). It is driven in part by abuses of the human rights of those most at risk to get the disease and of the over 1 million Russians already living with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The principal means of HIV transmission in Russia has been and remains injection drug use. But the Russian state has done little to support low-cost measures that would enable drug users to realize their right to be protected from this incurable disease. Instead, Russia has been a model of repression of drug users and stigmatization of HIV-positive people, putting the country squarely on the path of very high AIDS mortality and continued abuse of people affected by HIV/AIDS."

Human Rights Watch, "Lessons Not Learned: Human Rights Abuses and HIV/AIDS in the Russian Federation," (New York, NY: April 2004) Vol. 16, No. 5, p. 1.