|Drug Abuse - HIV/AIDS: A Devastating Combination (UNAIDS - UNDCP, 12 p.)|
As a UNAIDS Cosponsor, UNDCP aims to reduce the vulnerability of young people by carrying out projects that promote a healthy life-style. A supportive environment is crucial. Having easy access to health services, developing life skills and being educated about the health risks that come with drug abuse are the keys to staying drug free - and free of HIV.
UNDCP Peer educators
Brazil: Vera and Deivez lost their home and their son because of their addiction. They now work in a UNDCP-sponsored peer educator project in Brazil, Treated drug abusers can represent a bridge to those still abusing drugs by sharing information and experiences in risk reduction practices and treatment
"After I found out I was HIV positive, I started to use drugs more and more often - I even tried to overdose at one point, but could not bring myself to it because I was too afraid to die - even though I had death in me already. I share the experience of living in the world of drugs - stories and scars that never let you forget the past."
"I started to inject when I was 30. I found out I was HIV positive about 2 years ago. I didn't know anything about prevention, because I wasn't really interested in the subject. I have lost everything because of drugs and AIDS. I hope they will find a cure for AIDS, so that I can raise my son."
Vietnam: In Hai Phong and Ho Chi Minh Cities, Vietnam, infection through injecting drug use represents nearly 80 percent of all the identified HIV infections. UNDPC is working in the country to strengthen outreach programmes among urban drug abusers who are at high-risk of contracting HIV.
Le Anh Tuan. 31:
"I remember I was unemployed and feeling very bored, so I started to smoke heroin. I continued to smoke the drug until I ran out of money, and then I changed from smoking to injecting. I had to sell all the furniture to get the money for the drug. There is a strong possibility that my wife has contracted the HIV virus from me. I make myself an alive evidence for the harms of drugs when talking to drug users and trying to persuade them not to go the same path."