“Austerity measures brought in to tackle Europe’s economic crisis may cause a rise in drug-related HIV infections as stretched health services struggle to cope, the E.U.’s narcotics agency said on Tuesday,” Reuters reports. “Greece, which is facing huge cutbacks, reported a large outbreak of HIV infections among drug users in July, the Lisbon-based agency said in its yearly report,” the news agency writes, noting, “New infections were also reported in Bulgaria, Estonia and Lithuania, it added.”
Reuters examines how a worsening economic crisis in Greece is affecting the country’s health system, highlighting a 36 percent decrease in health spending by Greeks this year, according to the National School of Public Health, and an increase of more than 50 percent in new cases of HIV from the first five months of 2010 to the same period this year. The news service also notes a rise in depression and suicide, writing, “Greeks are swallowing 35 percent more antidepressants than they did five years ago, according to the National School of Public Health. The health ministry says suicides are up 40 percent so far this year.”
“Vancouver’s Insite clinic, the only such safe-injection site for [people who use drugs] in North America, can stay open, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled on Friday in a landmark defeat for the federal government,” Reuters reports. “The country’s top court … ruled unanimously that closing the site would threaten the lives of drug users and therefore violate their human rights,” the news agency writes (Ljunggren, 9/30).
Human Rights Watch Report Says Foreign Aid Indirectly Supporting Forced Labor In Vietnam's Drug Rehabilitation Centers
In a report released Wednesday, New York-based Human Rights Watch “accused the United States government, the World Bank and other international donors of indirectly funding forced labor in Vietnam’s drug rehabilitation centers,” Inter Press Service reports. The report “said that Vietnam’s system of forced labor centers for people who use drugs has expanded over the last decade” and they “have been sustained by a variety of international donors, none of which has made objections,” the news service writes.
The New York Times examines the “growing drug addiction problem” in Afghanistan, where, in 2010, about 900,000 people, or seven percent of the adult population, were using drugs, according to the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime. The newspaper notes “a recent report by the Ministry of Public Health in partnership with Johns Hopkins University … found HIV present in about seven percent of drug users, double the figure just three years ago, said Dr. Fahim Paigham, who until recently directed the Ministry of Public Health’s AIDS control program.”
The WHO on Thursday marked the first-ever World Hepatitis Day, recognizing a disease that affects nearly one of every three people in the world, the U.N. News Centre reports (7/27). According to a WHO press release, 1.4 million cases of hepatitis A occur each year, two billion people are infected with a hepatitis virus, and at least 130 million people are chronically infected with hepatitis C (7/28).
Ahead of the U.N. High Level Meeting on AIDS, more than 200 international non-governmental organizations have pledged their support for the Beirut Declaration on HIV and Injecting Drug Use, which “call[s] on world leaders to scale up harm reduction programs thatÂ address the role of injecting drug use in the AIDS…
The Supreme Court of Canada on Thursday began hearing the Canadian government’s case against Insite, a Vancouver-based legal injection site where people who use injecting drugs can obtain clean needles and syringes and inject their own drugs under a nurse’s supervision, the Canadian Press reports (5/12).
A growing number of HIV infections in East Africa are linked to injection drug use (IDU), according to a new report (.pdf) from the Center for Strategic and International Studies, VOA News reports (DeCapua, 4/29).
North America’s only authorized facility for injecting illegal drugs has helped cut drug overdose deaths significantly in the Vancouver community where it is located and “should be used as a model in other cities,” according to a study published on Monday in the Lancet, Reuters reports (Dowd, 4/18).