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Harm Reduction in Asia and the Pacific

Edited by: Tasnim Azim (International Centre for Diarrhoeal Diseases Research, Bangladesh) and Prof. Nick Crofts (Editor-in-Chief)

HIV epidemics in Asia have all been concentrated epidemics, especially among and from people who inject drugs. Harm reduction responses to these concentrated epidemics have been slow to develop in many Asian countries, and are still not to scale in most. Repressive ‘war on drugs’ policies continue to impede implementation of effective evidence-based responses. It is over 25 years since HIV arrived in Asia, and 25 years since the first harm reduction programs began here.

This thematic issue will document and explore the current state of harm reduction across Asia, examining the development of a harm reduction response to HIV/AIDS epidemics, evidence of its effectiveness and challenges to its further implementation and integration into health and criminal justice systems. The issue will contain overviews of the epidemiology and scale of implementation of harm reduction across the Asian regions, exemplar case studies of the introduction of harm reduction programs, and critical analysis and commentary.

The article processing charge for a select number of articles in this series were funded by UNAIDS, World Bank, UNODC, Global Fund, WHO, Open Society Foundations. This has been individually acknowledged within the articles. All articles in this series have undergone the journal’s full standard peer-review process.

Collection published in Harm Reduction Journal: 16 October 2015

  1. Outcomes of methadone maintenance treatment (MMT) in the management of opioid dependency can be impaired by poor adherence and retention, concomitant drug use, poor adjustment of methadone dosage, and low leve...

    Authors: Bo Zhang, Thomas Cai, Zhihua Yan, Gitau Mburu, Bangyuan Wang and Liping Yang
    Citation: Harm Reduction Journal 2016 13:8
  2. Pakistan is among four countries in Asia where the estimated number of new HIV infections has been increasing year by year ever since 1990. The Asian Epidemic Modelling (AEM), conducted in 2015, reconfirmed th...

    Authors: Anne Bergenstrom, Baseer Achakzai, Sofia Furqan, Manzoor ul Haq, Rajwal Khan and Marc Saba
    Citation: Harm Reduction Journal 2015 12:43
  3. People who inject drugs (PWID) are at increased HIV transmission risk because of unsafe injecting practices and a host of other individual, network, and structural factors. Thus, PWID have a great need for ser...

    Authors: Richard D. Pierce, Jennifer Hegle, Keith Sabin, Edo Agustian, Lisa G. Johnston, Stephen Mills and Catherine S. Todd
    Citation: Harm Reduction Journal 2015 12:41
  4. Methadone maintenance treatment programs (MMTPs) are important public health intervention to control the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and the drug use problems. For expanding treatment coverage, publicly...

    Authors: Kun-Chia Chang and Chung-Ying Lin
    Citation: Harm Reduction Journal 2015 12:40
  5. As a dual response to the HIV epidemic and the high level of injecting drug use in Vietnam, the Ministry of Health (MOH) initiated a pilot methadone maintenance therapy (MMT) program in Hai Phong and Ho Chi Mi...

    Authors: Tran Vu Hoang, Tran Thi Thanh Ha, Tran Minh Hoang, Nguyen To Nhu, Nguyen Cuong Quoc, Nguyen thi Minh Tam and Stephen Mills
    Citation: Harm Reduction Journal 2015 12:39
  6. Drug users and female sex workers are among the groups most vulnerable to HIV infection in Vietnam. To address the HIV epidemic within these communities, former drug users and sex workers established the first...

    Authors: Leah T. Le, Lauretta E. Grau, Huong H. Nguyen, Oanh Hai T. Khuat and Robert Heimer
    Citation: Harm Reduction Journal 2015 12:38
  7. “Low dead space” syringes with permanently attached needles retain less fluid, blood, and HIV after use than standard “high dead space” syringes. This reduces the probability of HIV transmission if they are sh...

    Authors: William A. Zule, Alisher Latypov, David Otiashvili, Irma Kirtadze, Umedjon Ibragimov and Georgiy V. Bobashev
    Citation: Harm Reduction Journal 2015 12:37
  8. Women who inject drugs (WWID) are neglected globally in research and programming yet may be likelier than males to practise sexual and injecting risks and be infected with HIV and more stigmatised but seek few...

    Authors: Oanh TH Khuat, Martha Morrow, Trang NN Nguyen and Gregory Armstrong
    Citation: Harm Reduction Journal 2015 12:35
  9. China, as other Southeast Asian countries, has witnessed an increased use in amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS) amongst urban youth. Amongst female adolescents who both sell sex and use ATS, risk behaviours are...

    Authors: Xu-Dong Zhang, Angela Kelly-Hanku, Jia-Jia Chai, Jian Luo, Marleen Temmerman and Stanley Luchters
    Citation: Harm Reduction Journal 2015 12:34
  10. In Cambodia, HIV prevalence among female entertainment and sex workers (FESW) is up to twenty times higher than in the general population. Use of amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS) has been associated with incr...

    Authors: Thomas Crewe Dixon, Song Ngak, Ellen Stein, Adam Carrico, Kimberly Page and Lisa Maher
    Citation: Harm Reduction Journal 2015 12:33
  11. Evidence indicates that detention of people who use drugs in compulsory centers in the name of treatment is common in Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam....

    Authors: Pascal Tanguay, Adeeba Kamarulzaman, Apinun Aramrattana, Alex Wodak, Nicholas Thomson, Robert Ali, Gino Vumbaca, Gloria Lai and Anand Chabungbam
    Citation: Harm Reduction Journal 2015 12:31
  12. Armed conflict may increase the risk of HIV and other pathogens among injecting drug users (IDUs); however, there are few prospective studies. This study aimed to measure incidence and potential predictors, in...

    Authors: Catherine S. Todd, Abdul Nasir, Mohammad Raza Stanekzai, Katja Fiekert, Heather L. Sipsma, David Vlahov and Steffanie A. Strathdee
    Citation: Harm Reduction Journal 2015 12:22
  13. Although a growing body of evidence suggests that low dead space syringes may reduce the risk of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and Hepatitis C virus infection associated with sharing syringes among people...

    Authors: Ngo Thi Thanh Huong, Gary Mundy, Josselyn Neukom, William Zule, Nguyen Minh Tuan and Nguyen Minh Tam
    Citation: Harm Reduction Journal 2015 12:15