Posted on May 15, 2017
Source: Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health News
"The criminalization of drug use has a negative effect on efforts to prevent the spread of HIV and to treat people with the infection, suggests a review of published research conducted by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the University of British Columbia.
The findings, appearing May 14 in The Lancet HIV, suggest that the so-called War on Drugs, which called for stiff penalties for possession of illegal drugs, has been unsuccessful in reducing drug use and has put thousands of people in jail who might be better served through drug treatment. The United States, for example, is in the midst of an unprecedented crisis of opioid use and abuse. In many parts of the world, HIV rates are being driven up by the unmet HIV prevention and treatment needs among people who inject drugs.
The use of injection drugs continues to be a key driver of the global HIV epidemic, with 51 percent of new HIV cases in Eastern Europe and central Asia occurring in people who inject drugs, according to the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS."