Monday 20 May, 2013 (Geneva, Switzerland ) — A hepatitis C epidemic fuelled by the “war on drugs” is sweeping amongst injecting drug users globally, says a new landmark report to be launched Thursday May 30 in Geneva by the Global Commission on Drug Policy. Of the 16 million people who inject drugs around the world, an estimated 10 million are living with hepatitis C.
The report, entitled The Negative Impact of the War on Drugs on Public Health: The Hidden Hepatitis C Epidemic, condemns the drug war as a failure and recommends immediate, major reforms of the global drug prohibition regime to halt the spread of hepatitis C infection and other drug war harms.
The launch happens in Switzerland in advance of the 23rd International Harm Reduction Conference, taking place in Vilnius, Lithuania. Nearby Eastern Europe end Central Asia are home to the fastest growing hepatitis C and HIV epidemics and are largely being driven by injecting drug use.
The event will be streamed live at www.globalcommissionondrugs.org/hepatitis.
What: Global Commission on Drug Policy Report Launch: The Negative Impact of the War on Drugs on Public Health: The Hidden Hepatitis C Epidemic
When: Thursday, May 30, 09.30-11.00 am (GMT/UTC + 2:00)
– Michel Kazatchkine, Commissioner and also the UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy on HIV/AIDS in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.
– Ruth Dreifuss, Commissioner & former President of Switzerland
– Philip Bruggmann, Head of Internal Medicine, Arud Centres for Addiction Medicine, Zurich, Switzerland
– Konstantin Lezhentsev, Eurasian Harm Reduction Network (EHRN)
– Where: Club Suisse de la Presse, Route de Ferney 106, Genève, www.pressclub.ch
Barbara Rehbinder, Technical Expert to the UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy on HIV/AIDS in Eastern Europe and Central Asia
Ph: +41 (0)22 710 0860
Global Commission on Drug Policy
Ph: (+55) (11) 99681 9637
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