Harm reduction programme among people who use drugs
In Georgia, where drug use is punishable more than anywhere else in the world, MdM has decided to set up a programme of harm reduction among intravenous drug users. 70% of drug users are infected with hepatitis C, and it is reaching epidemic levels in the general adult population, with almost 7% infected.
MdM is supporting the Georgian ‘New Vector’ organisation with the establishment of an innovative drop-in centre, which offers dental care to a population that is subject to discrimination. This service attracts many users who can thereby access a wide range of harm reduction services: sterile equipment, prevention, screening as well as psychological and social support.
As part of its co-operation with other key players in harm reduction, MdM also organises training and is lobbying for the decriminalisation of harm reduction practices (eg needle exchange) and for better access to diagnosis and treatment of hepatitis C.
650 users have used the reception centre in Tbilisi, 42,573 syringes have been distributed, 417 dental consultations have been carried out.
In 2012, MdM will continue to strengthen the technical and organisational capabilities of New Vector and to consolidate 2011’s activities. Particular attention is given to supporting users and to integrating female users into the programme.