Cover Image
close this bookDrug Abuse and HIV/AIDS: Lessons Learned - Case Studies Booklet - Central and Eastern Europe and the Central Asian States (UNAIDS, 2001, 113 p.)
close this folderIV. Conclusions: Challenges and lessons learned
View the documentBackground
View the documentCommon challenges
View the documentLessons learned

Lessons learned

The following joint statement*, summarizing key principles of effective HIV/AIDS prevention, was elaborated by the participants in the meeting held in Minsk:

* The statement was developed by a subgroup of participants, on the initiative of Jiri Richter of the Harm Reduction Network of the Czech Republic. It was circulated to all participants for comment and finalized after the meeting.

“Key components of effective prevention of HIV/AIDS

“(1) A national strategy, policy and action plan, focused on effective interventions and targeted at groups at most risk of HIV/AIDS, has to be elaborated, agreed and implemented in every country, in close cooperation with, and with the participation of, all relevant parties, organizations and individuals (e.g. representatives of the governmental, private, non-governmental, expert and local sectors). The plan should include general and short-term objectives, concrete tasks and expected results, and should clarify responsibilities, concrete interventions and evaluation procedures.

“(2) Effective and targeted interventions, focused on the reduction of specific harm and on specific preventive activities, have to be identified and implemented in every place, environment, community or region in which risk behaviour, environment or conditions are reported, occur or are predicted. The principles for these interventions have been identified in the WHO publication, Principles for Preventing HIV Infection among Drug Users.a

a World Health Organization, Regional Office for Europe (Copenhagen, 1998).”

“(3) The following elements are crucial to effective action and success:

“(a) The involvement of all sectors of society, including individuals, the family and the community;

“(b) The involvement of all professionals from all relevant agencies (social, health, law-enforcement and criminal justice), as well as those who are affected by or at risk of HIV/AIDS;

“(c) Activities and interventions must be focused on knowledge and awareness, changing skills, attitudes and behaviour;

“(d) To be effective, interventions must be locally oriented, focused on individual needs and periodically revised and changed according to the actual situation.


MAP (Monitoring the AIDS Pandemic Network) 1998, The Determinants of the HIV/AIDS Epidemics in Eastern Europe, Veyrier du Lac, France. [MAP reports are available through the following web sites: <>; <>; and <>.]

Rhodes, T. 1996, Individual and community action in HIV prevention. An introduction, in T. Rhodes and R. Hartnoll, AIDS, Drugs and Prevention, Routledge, London and New York, pp. 1-9.

UNAIDS 2000, Report on the Global HIV/AIDS Epidemic, UNAIDS, Geneva.

UNDCP 2000, Meeting on lessons learned on the prevention of the transmission of HIV/AIDS among injecting drug users in Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Minsk, 13-15 July 2000, Final meeting report dated 7 August 2000, Internal working document, Vienna.