“The global war on drugs is driving the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Aggressive law enforcement practices targeting drug users have been proven to create barriers to HIV treatment. Mass incarceration…also plays a major role in increasing HIV risk.”

The words of HIV activists on the barricades? Nope. It’s a quote from the June 2012 report of the Global Commission on Drug Policy, a high-level group that includes six former heads of state and former U.S. Secretary of State George Shultz. The report, subtitled “How the Criminalization of Drug Use Fuels the Global Pandemic,” urges nations to “halt the practice of arresting and imprisoning people who use drugs but do no harm to others” and to legalize and employ needle exchange. “Failure to take these steps,” the commission writes, “is criminal.” Read the full report at globalcommissionondrugs.org.

We’re glad to see global leaders of the highest level reaching consensus
on what’s needed to stop AIDS.