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IHRC 2015: Why Is Injecting Equipment Reused? Drug Users Do Their Own Research to Find Out

Even in the context of the relatively good access to harm reduction services in Australia, the principle reasons for people who inject drugs to reuse syringes relate to the convenience of services, the stigma of drug use, a fear of repercussions, and other contextual factors, according to a recent study. No participants reported sharing equipment as a choice -- if sterile equipment had been readily available at the time they needed it, they would have preferred to use it.


EACS 2015: Hepatitis C Incidence Remains Stable Among HIV-Positive Gay Men in Europe

Researchers have seen no decline in new hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections among HIV-positive men who have sex with men in 16 European CASCADE cohorts, according to a poster presented at the 15th European AIDS Conference last week in Barcelona. However, trends seem to differ between various regions of Europe.


IHRC 2015: Peer Workers Improve Drug Users' Engagement with HIV Care in Ukraine

An innovative program in which peer outreach workers use a case management approach to help HIV-positive people who inject drugs to engage with medical services and to begin antiretroviral therapy (ART) appears to be paying off, according to early results presented at the 24th International Harm Reduction Conference this week in Kuala Lumpur.


EACS 2015: Sofosbuvir/ Ledipasvir for 8 Weeks Cures Most Hard-to-Treat Hepatitis C in Real Life

Most hepatitis C patients in the GECCO German hepatitis C cohort who were treated with sofosbuvir/ledipasvir (Harvoni) for 8 weeks in a real-world clinical setting achieved sustained virological response, even those who are advised to stay on treatment for 12 weeks due to factors such as liver cirrhosis, prior treatment experience, and high HCV viral load, according to a presentation last week at the 15th European AIDS Conference in Barcelona.


FDA Warns Viekira Pak and Technivie for Hepatitis C Can Cause Serious Liver Injury

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning this week that recently approved interferon-free therapy for hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection can produce serious liver damage, mainly in people who already have advanced liver disease. The warning applies to AbbVie's paritaprevir/ritonavir/ombitasvir coformulation, which is sold alone as Technivie for the treatment of HCV genotype 4, and as part of the Viekira Pak regimen for HCV genotype 1; in Europe the latter regimen is sold as separate components, Viekirax and Exviera.


IHRC 2015: Needle Exchanges Must Meet Needs of People Who Inject Steroids and Image-enhancing Drugs

The numbers of people injecting steroids and other image-enhancing drugs has increased significantly in the last decade, and harm reduction services need to develop new skills if they are to help people using these drugs avoid blood-borne viruses, according to presentations at the 24th International Harm Reduction Conference last week in Kuala Lumpur. Surveys in the UK suggest that rates of HIV and viral hepatitis infections are significantly higher among people using these drugs than in the general population.


IHRC 2015: Retreat of International Donors, National Government Neglect Threaten Harm Reduction Services

The availability of needle and syringe programs, opioid substitution therapy, and other harm reduction services for people who inject drugs is getting even worse in many parts of the world, due to shifting priorities among international donors and a refusal by many national governments to adequately respond to the health needs of their citizens who use drugs, according to delegates at the 24th International Harm Reduction Conference, being held this week in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. UNAIDS estimate that US$2.3 billion is needed each year for a core package of HIV prevention, treatment, and care for people who inject drugs -- but just 7% of this is currently provided.


IHRC 2015: Harm Reduction Conference Calls for Political Leadership to Reform Drug Policy

The biggest challenges to harm reduction are drug policy and drug laws, Malaysian harm reduction leader Adeeba Kamarulzaman told participants at the 24th International Harm Reduction Conference in Kuala Lumpur last week. Numerous speakers said that punitive and prohibitionist drug policies have restricted access to harm reduction services, contributed to the spread of HIV and hepatitis C, led to unnecessary drug overdoses, encouraged discrimination against drug users, diminished respect for human rights, encouraged the use of compulsory treatment, and resulted in the mass incarceration of people who use drugs.


Coverage of the 2015 International Harm Reduction Conference

Coverage of the 24th International Harm Reduction Conference, October 18-22, 2015, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. 

Conference highlights include needle exchange and opioid substitution therapy, programs for people who inject drugs, and international drug policy reform.

Full listing of coverage

IHRC 2015 website