AIDS 2014Major international donors are only spending 7 percent of the estimated funding needed to support harm reduction for injection drug users (IDUs) worldwide, aidsmap reports. Findings from a survey conducted by Harm Reduction International, the International Drug Policy Consortium and the International HIV/AIDS Alliance were presented at the 20th International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2014) in Melbourne, Australia.

The survey found that the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, along with donor governments, spent $160 million for harm reduction programs in 2010, with little promise of subsequent increases; in fact, some donors may be scaling back funds. UNAIDS estimates that harm reduction efforts require $2.3 billion to adequately meet the needs of IDUs.

The harm reduction umbrella includes syringe exchange programs; opioid substitution therapy such as methadone; and education and outreach for IDUs; as well as HIV testing and counseling; antiretroviral therapy to treat HIV; condom programs; and programs to prevent, test and treat sexually transmitted infections, viral hepatitis and tuberculosis (TB).

To read the aidsmap story, click here.

To read the conference abstract, click here.