Harm Reduction, HIV/AIDS, and the Human Rights Challenge to Global Drug Control Policy – Health and Human Rights: An International Journal, Vol. 8, No. 2, 2005

The global HIV/AIDS pandemic, and the role of unsafe drug injection as one of its principal drivers, have added to the list of harms associated with unsafe drug use. HIV/AIDS has highlighted ways in which prohibitionist drug policy causes or contributes to such harms and focused attention on the international regime of illicit drug control. At the same time, HIV/AIDS has catalyzed the “health and human rights movement” to articulate legal and policy responses that both represent sound public health policy and fulfill human rights obligations recognized in international law; this necessarily includes scrutinizing the interpretation and implementation of the UN drug control conventions. This article brings together public health evidence and legal analysis as a contribution toward changing the global drug control regime to a more health-friendly, human rights-based system.

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