UNDERNEWS

Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who has covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

April 18, 2009

AIDS EXPERT: WAR ON DRUGS SPREADS AIDS

Observer, UK - The use of illicit drugs must be decriminalized if efforts to halt the spread of Aids are to succeed, one of the world's leading independent authorities on the disease has warned. In an unprecedented attack on global drugs policy, Michele Kazatchkine, head of the influential Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria, has told the Observer that, without a radical overhaul of laws that lead to hundreds of thousands of drug users being imprisoned or denied access to safe treatment, the millions of pounds spent on fighting HIV and Aids will be wasted. . .

"The one population where [Aids] mortality has been untouched - and in fact has worsened - has been IV [intravenous] drug users. It's amazing, because what we call harm reduction, such as exchanging needles, has been scientifically proven as the most effective.

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