Repressive policies and laws across the region prevent the participation of PWID in the design, planning, evaluation and implementation of HIV policies and harm reduction programs. There is limited technical and organisational capacity within community groups and networks, or limited resources for sustained and high quality advocacy. This undermines meaningful participation in regional and national decision making on HIV and drug use. Hence with the main objective to strengthen community systems, in particular networks of PWID, community based harm reduction organisations and harm reduction networks, to promote participation, advocacy, community-based services and meaningful engagement with national governments and regional mechanisms ANPUD is collaborating with International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC), Harm Reduction International (HRI) and India HIV/AIDS alliance in this joint project on Harm Reduction Advocacy in Asia with funding from the Global Fund.
The overall goal of the regional project is to “increase access to essential HIV and harm reduction services for people who inject drugs in Asia through removing legal barriers, community systems strengthening and increasing the evidence base”. The Global Fund funds the 3-year project (from January 2016 to December 2019) having India HIV/AIDS Alliance as the Principal Recipient (PR) of the grant. ANPUD as regional sub-recipient will implement the project in Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines, Indonesia, India and Nepal.
Major activities of ANPUD and country partners under this grant will focus on network strengthening through implementation of the capacity building modules of ANPUD. A new national PUD network in the Philippines will be established. With specific focus in Thailand and India, the community-based quality-monitoring tool for harm reduction services (NSP and OST) will be implemented. A regional approach to harm reduction policy advocacy in Asia will ensure that regional mechanisms such as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) that influence country level policies take cognizance of health and rights based approaches to drug use as well as policy and implementation gaps in the context of HIV prevention among PWID. The regional and in-country activities of the project are designed to address identified gaps in the AIDS response across the Asian region.