people in the world are sex workers
At risk populations
of hepatitis C new infections are contracted by injecting drug users
people in the world live with HIV-AIDS
For many years Doctors of the World has been actively involved in HIV prevention and care services. But some groups of people, such as drug users, sex workers and marginalised homosexuals, did not have access to these services. So many people who find themselves without medical care, simply because of who they are or what they do, which increases their exposure to HIV and viral hepatitis infections.
What we do
What is harm reduction
Doctors of the World runs a range of programmes aimed at reducing the risk of infection from drug use, sexual practices and exposure to toxic substances. In addition to our health and prevention activities, we advocate for reform to policies and legislation that jeopardise people.
Harm reduction means not judging others and accepting different practices and lifestyles.
Preventing infectious diseases
Doctors of the World runs prevention and education programmes related to risks associated with injecting drugs. We distribute sterile injection kits, collect contaminated equipment, inform users about risk and screen for transmissible diseases. We also campaign for the setting up of supervised injecting facilities to reduce risk. Similar initiatives are available for sex workers and homosexuals marginalised by their cultural or political environment. We distribute condoms, offer screening and provide advice on accessing healthcare services. We are also lobbying for the treatment against hepatitis C to be available at a price that everyone can afford.
Fostering mutual support and experience-sharing
Doctors of the World establishes a community response which includes calling on people exposed to risk to participate in its prevention initiatives.Many peer support workers, such as former drug users, draw on their experience to work for the programme and harm reduction actions become drivers of real social change .
Doctors of the World advocates for the decriminalisation of drug users and sex workers who are often stigmatised. We call on public authorities to reform laws and national and international rulings criminalising and penalising these people’s practices and lifestyles and to foster an approach founded on the interests of public health and human rights.
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