Substance Use and Harm Reduction

Globally, approximately 3 million injection drug users are people living with HIV and there are 13 million or more people at risk of getting infected with HIV. HIV spreads at an alarming rate as soon as it enters an injection drug using community. An accelerated spread of the epidemic has been observed within these populations occurring as a result of lack of data on the population size and stigma experienced from service providers. This causes restrictions around accessing necessary services and they usually don’t obtain augmented HIV care and treatment. Research tells us that substance users want to protect themselves, their sexual partners and their communities. Therefore, the availability of harm reduction services and outreach may significantly affect the transmission of HIV. HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C, sexually transmitted infections, tuberculosis, other bacterial infections and death from overdose are common within the drug using population especially injection drug users.[1] Some substance users are co-infected with HIV and Hepatitis C which has an even more hazardous effect to their well being.

Our Harm Reduction Program is meant to address some of these realities. Some of the activities undertaken in this program include:

Our focus is to reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS and other infections within the substance using community through education and outreach. Harm reduction thrives on the building of relationships between substance user and the service provider focusing on the reality of the person and meeting them where they are at.