April 6, 2011
Inter Press Service reports on efforts to slow the spread of HIV/AIDS and other diseases among Afghanistan's injection drug users through a drug substitution program. "The programme, which gives patients controlled doses of methadone to help them control their heroin addiction," is the country's "first major methadone drug substitution trial," according to the news service. The article notes the positive results of the trial to date, which are being presented at the International Harm Reduction Association's annual conference in the Lebanese capital Beirut this week. IPS writes that though "[d]octors on the programme ... say its results show the benefit harm reduction treatment can have in tackling the spread of blood-borne diseases among injecting drug users and help often-ostracised addicts reintegrate into society" and "[t]he Afghan health ministry has backed the methadone trial ... there are concerns over its future" (Stracansky, 4/5).