People who use drugs

Key facts: WHO estimates that 13 million people around the world are using drugs. Of them, 1.7 million are living with HIV or AIDS. On average, one in ten new HIV infections is caused by the sharing of needles.

People who use drugs

We work on breaking the cycle of stigmatisation, discrimination, poverty and lack of access to much-needed health services that traps people who use drugs. Even when health services are available, people who use drugs are often reluctant to utilise them, as they fear abuse and imprisonment. With harm reduction measures lacking, using and sharing unsterile needles is the primary means of HIV transmission in many regions of the world. Bridging the Gaps puts people who use drugs in the driver’s seat to find solutions to these challenges.

What we do

  • We improve access to quality HIV services for people who use drugs.
  • We advocate for and provide needle exchange programmes and opioid substitution programmes.
  • We advocate for and provide harm reduction services in prisons and other detention facilities.
  • We integrate existing health services and create new ones to ensure adequate access to human rights-based healthcare.
  • We defend the human rights and strengthen the capacity of drug user organisations that work on HIV, human rights and harm reduction.
  • We work with people who use drugs in nine countries.

What we do

  • We base our work on the needs expressed by sex workers themselves, and sex workers are in the lead in all activities.
  • We develop health and other services that meet the specific needs of sex workers and are in line with the Sex Worker Implementation Tool (SWIT).
  • We advocate for the protection of, respect for and fulfilment of sex workers’ human rights to ensure full access to public health care.
  • We work with sex workers in twelve countries.