Economic Crisis Threatens AIDS Fight: Expert
April 20, 2009
The executive director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria on Monday warned that disease-fighting efforts could be jeopardized by the worldwide financial crisis. Speaking on the sidelines of the International Harm Reduction Association (IHRA) conference in Bangkok, Michel Kazatchkine worried that fund donors will be unable to meet their pledges.
During his keynote speech to IHRA, the Global Fund head called for decriminalizing drug use as a way to slow the spread of HIV/AIDS. "I am talking about decriminalization of drug users," said Kazatchkine. "I am not talking about decriminalization of drug trafficking, there should not be any misunderstanding."
"Drug users have been looked [upon] as criminals; they are arrested, harassed; they are imprisoned; they have no access to services; they are not respected in the very basic human rights perspective," Kazatchkine added.
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