People who inject drugs in Asia are disproportionately affected by HIV, despite the region seeing an overall decline in HIV rates. In 2018, UNAIDS reported HIV prevalence among people who inject drugs in Southeast Asia to be highest in the Philippines (29%), Indonesia (28.76%), and Thailand (19.02%). Access to combination prevention services, especially Harm Reduction, remains a challenge in a few countries according to survey data from 2016–2018.
The Global Fund’s Harm Reduction Advocacy in Asia grant (HRAsia) is based on learning from the earlier national programme. Since 2017, the regional grant focuses on advocacy to achieve the long-term sustainability of harm reduction interventions in line with the 90-90-90 targets in seven high priority countries of Asia through our country partners in Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. Our technical partners under the regional grant are the International Drug Policy Consortium, a global network of 182 NGOs, Asian Network of People who Use Drugs, the regional community-led organization and Harm Reduction International, a leading NGO dedicated to reducing the negative health, social and legal impacts of drug use and drug policy.
At the regional level:
- Engagement with ASEAN Health Cluster 2 in collaboration with UNAIDS RST, Frontline AIDS to conduct the regional advocacy workshop on preventing HIV among PWIDs, under the leadership of the Ministry of Health, Malaysia from May 13 – 15, 2018.
- Organised 1st Regional meeting “Advancing health through rights-based approaches and harm reduction services for people who use drugs in SAARC countries”, of the representatives from the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) countries held under the leadership of Nepal and SAARC Tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS Centre from December 9 – 11, 2018.
- Regional level engagement with Country Coordinating Mechanism of Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Thailand, Nepal, Philippines and Vietnam to promote evidence-based understanding and exchange of best practice in harm reduction and HIV policy, drug treatment and relevant services Regional Meeting from November 22 – 23, 2018.
- Participation at the 62nd Commission on Narcotic Drugs, under the grant through the representation of Alliance India, HRI, IDPC, ANPUD, with Rumah Cemara and Ozone Foundation representation in the Ministerial segment. IDPC also organised a side event as Global Community and civil society with delegations from India, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines and Cambodia in March 2019.
- Organised a regional level civil society capacity building a workshop on engaging law enforcement agencies for advancing health and rights-based approaches and harm reduction services amongst people who use drugs in Bangkok, Thailand with Law enforcement country focal points, civil society and community networks from December 14 – 15, 2018.