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London clinic survey shows impact of chemsex on condom and PEP use

A survey of gay men in London using drugs during sex – chemsex – has shown high levels of unprotected sex and hepatitis C among both HIV-positive and HIV-negative men, high levels of post-exposure prophylaxis use and a high frequency of injecting drug use. The research was presented to the 15th European AIDS Conference in Barcelona, Spain.

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Quality of treatment for heroin users under threat from shrinking resources and disruptive re-procurement processes

The ACMD found that the current quality of drug treatment in England varies significantly and is being compromised by frequent re-procurement and shrinking resources.

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Risk environments facing potential users of a supervised injection site in Ottawa, Canada

SISs are highly targeted harm reduction services that are effective in reaching the most marginalized communities of people who use drugs, including high-intensity injection drug users and those who face issues of homelessness, mental health illness, involvement with sex work, interactions with local policing practices, and concomitant health conditions including HIV and HCV infection

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Drug deaths in Wales fall by 30%

Deaths from drug misuse in 2014 fell by 16% compared to 2013 and by 30% since 2010. The drug misuse mortality rate in Wales has also fallen by 16% compared to 2014, to 39 deaths per million – the lowest rate since 2006.

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HIV in the United Kingdom

The number of people living with diagnosed HIV in the UK continues to rise, with 85,489 people seen for HIV care by the end of 2014. This reflects the longer life expectancy conferred by effective antiretroviral therapy (ART), ongoing HIV transmission and steady numbers of new diagnoses. Consistent with this, the age of people accessing care for HIV continues to increase, with almost one in six now aged over 55. The aging cohort of people living with HIV emphasises the importance of integrated care pathways to manage co-morbidities and other complications.

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Harm Reduction Is Essential to Combat the Addiction Epidemic

The good news is that for decades, both injection drug users and doctors have been advocating for harm reduction, a rational and proven way to reduce infections. The idea is simple: lower the risks associated with using drugs. Doctors use these principles every day in the clinic, such as when they encourage patients to use condoms and birth control. We've learned the hard way that abstinence-based methods actually increase risky sexual activity. By instead providing knowledge and safer-sex supplies, they make the behavior safer. Drug use is no different.

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Needle and syringe exchanges need to adapt to meet the 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, the 24th International Harm Reduction Conference in Kuala Lumpur was told on Wednesday. Surveys in the United Kingdom suggest that rates of HIV and hepatitis infections are significantly higher in people using these drugs than in the general population.

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Obama Eases Naloxone Access to Cut Heroin Overdose Deaths

President Barack Obama traveled on Wednesday to West Virginia, the state with the nation’s highest death rate from drug overdoses, where he outlined a plan to provide more training and education about the impact of heroin and prescription drug abuse. The proposal may benefit companies including Amphastar Pharmaceuticals Inc., a maker of naloxone, which is used to reverse the effects of opioids.

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Harm-reduction drug programs may get OK under new Liberal government

Health and legal experts are cautiously optimistic that a newly elected Liberal government will clear roadblocks to harm-reduction programs, such as supervised injection sites and prescription heroin, which clashed with Conservative ideals and were stymied by Stephen Harper’s government.

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