The failure to deal with HIV/Aids among intravenous drug users compromises the worldwide fight against the disease, a UNAIDS official said Monday at a news conference in Warsaw, Poland.
To be effective, programmes that target HIV, the virus that causes Aids, need to reach about 80 percent of injection drug users, said the agency that coordinates the United Nations' battle against HIV/Aids.
But UNAIDS said that HIV prevention and treatment programmes reach only about eight percent of the world's 13 million intravenous drug users, Agence France Presse reported.
About half the world's injection drug users are in Asia.
That low percentage has serious consequences.
"About 10 percent of all new HIV infections worldwide are attributable to injecting drug use. If you exclude Africa, that figure rises to 30 percent," Prasada Rao, UNAIDS' regional director for Asia and the Pacific, said at the news conference. "Evidence shows that HIV prevention programmes are particularly effective among people who inject drugs, but they are regularly denied access to information and services." – (HealthDayNews)