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Key Publications

IDUIT (Implementing Comprehensive HIV and HCV Programmes with people who Use Drugs)

The IDUIT contains practical advice on implementing HIV and hepatitis C (HCV) programmes with people who inject drugs. The tool is designed for use by public-health officials, managers of HIV and harm reduction programmes, NGOs – including community and civil-society organizations – and health workers. It may also be of interest to international funding agencies, health policy-makers and advocates.

The IDUIT is further supplemented by the IDUIT Brief Guide for People who Use Drugs, which advises drug user activists on how to use the IDUIT for the promotion of better drug policies and practice.

Words Matter! Language Statement and Reference Guide

Compiled by INPUD and the Asian Network of People who Use Drugs (ANPUD), this guide aims to explain our current position on the use of language and to provide clear advice on what is acceptable to us as communities of people who use drugs. We want to encourage all people to be thoughtful about the language and words they use, and have therefore provided a reference guide that identifies stigmatising language and gives non-judgemental, strengths-based, and respectful alternatives.

Hanging by a Thread: Ensuring People, Human Rights and Equity are at the Center of the Pandemic Agreement

This strong document is INPUD’s most recent submission to the WHO-constituted Intergovernmental Negotiating Body, responsible for producing a Pandemic Agreement by May 2024. It presents the key issues for communities of people who use drugs for pandemic prevention, preparedness  and response.

Pandemic Preparedness and Response: Voices of People Who Use Drugs

This report gives a global perspective on the experiences of people who use drugs from Africa, the Americas, Europe, and Southeast Asia during the Covid-19. It also provides evidence-based recommendations to inform the drafting of the Pandemic Treaty, an initiative of the WHO, which aims to create an effective platform for international cooperation and collaboration to make the global healthcare system stronger and more resilient in dealing with pandemics.

The report is available here: English/ French/ Spanish/ Russian

Surviving and Thriving: Lessons in Successful Advocacy from Drug User-Led Networks

This report aims to show how and why peer-led networks should be given primacy by donors and recognised for their work. It demonstrates how peer-led drug user networks have strategised and mobilised to leverage limited resources to positive effect, and how they are thriving in adversity and crisis, in the context of insufficient and unstable resources. Highly restrictive funding, underfunding – and unsustainable funding for drug user-led networks – undermine their ability to do transformative work, are anathema to the universally-held value of the meaningful involvement of key populations, and detrimental to social justice and human rights.

The Fight for Accountability, The Right to Rights: Opportunities to Engage in human Rights Advocacy for INPUD

Human rights violations against people who use drugs have been widely documented. This report introduces different UN human rights mechanisms and evaluates how they have weighed in on human rights issues relevant to people who use drugs, citing specific cases to review the effect or impact they had. The report concludes with recommendations for areas of focus as part of the work of INPUD with the Love Alliance.

Key Populations’ Values & Preferences for HIV, Hepatitis and STIs Services

In 2021 INPUD collaborated with the World Health Organization (WHO) Department for Global HIV, Hepatitis and STI Programmes on a global qualitative study examining the values and preferences of key populations, including people who inject drugs, for HIV, Hepatitis and STIs services. The findings of this study will inform the update of the WHO 2016 Consolidated Guidelines for HIV prevention, diagnosis, treatment and care for key populations, which are used to inform countries on the design and implementation of health packages for key populations (people who inject drugs, gay and bisexual men and other men who have sex with men, female, male and trans sex workers and trans people).

Drug Decriminalisation: Progress or Political Red Herring?

Decriminalisation is often discussed as if there is only one model, leading to a view that decriminalisation anywhere equals progress. However, there are many different models of decriminalisation in operation, all with different impacts on people who use drugs. This report amplifies the voices of peers in countries that have implemented various approaches to decriminalisation in order to make clear the expectations people who use drugs have for future action on drug policy reform. Most importantly, it includes a call for full decriminalisation without sanctions as the new baseline for measuring progress on decriminalisation in the future. 

Out in the Cold: Community-led services abandonded as donor funding declines in Kyrgyzstan

In January of 2019, the landscape of support for many people living with or affected by HIV in Kyrgyzstan had changed radically when the services of their three community-led NGOs were ended due to the cease of funding from the country’s Global Fund (GF) programme. In April of 2019, with support from the Community Rights and Gender Technical Assistance Programme (CRG), INPUD decided to investigate the situation to identify measures that might be taken to ensure access to needed services, and to learn any lessons that might be relevant to Kyrgyzstan and other middle-income countries facing similar reductions in donor funding and slow implementation of social contracting.

Taking Back What’s Ours! A Documented/Oral History of the Movement of People who Use Drugs

Taking Back What’s Ours is a video series, done in partnership with Rights Reporter Foundation, which draws on accounts from people who use drugs across the world to captures the history and genesis of the global movement of people who use drugs. In this series you will meet activists undertaking critical work in their communities, and learn how they navigate this work within the context of criminalisation, stigmatisation and oppression. 

The accompanying research report further documents the meanings that we attribute to the movement, the challenges and tensions they perceive working within and outside the movement, and strategies for affecting positive change. The report amplifies the voices of leading advocates and identifies common features of the movement while also paying attention to contextual factors that may facilitate or impede progress.

What does Universal Health Coverage Mean for People who Use Drugs: A Technical Brief

Universal Health Coverage (UHC) as a concept is not new. In fact, its origins date back to the WHO Constitution of 1948 and the ground-breaking Alma-Ata Declaration from the 1978 International Conference on Primary Health Care, urging governments to promote the health of all people. This principle is enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Given the potential for country-level action towards realising UHC, it is important for all drug user rights advocates to stay informed . This INPUD Technical Brief explains how UHC can be both an opportunity and a concern for the health and rights of people who use drugs.

Chemsex: A Case Study of Drug-Userphobia

Chemsex is an emerging term that refers to the use of certain drugs in the context of sex. It is a term associated with a number of communities of gay and bisexual men, the clubbing and club drug scenes, and the fetish and BDSM scenes though, of course, other communities can and do engage in chemsex. Specifically, it refers to sex that is accompanied, enhanced, and/or facilitated by drugs. As with all people who use drugs, people who engage in chemsex are diverse and heterogeneous. This report draws on a consultation regarding chemsex undertaken by INPUD in South Africa, along with consultations with communities of people who use drugs in other regions, to challenge the stigma and discrimination experienced by individuals who engage in chemsex. 

Is Decriminalisation Enough? Drug User Community Voices from Portugal

Introduced in 2000, Portugal’s model of decriminalisation has been hugely influential and is frequently referred to as an example of legislative reform that has improved public health, social order, and the health and wellbeing of people who use drugs. However, the lived experiences, perspectives, and rights of the drug-using community are rarely taken into account in assessing the outcomes of decriminalisation in Portugal. Interactions with the state and the police, and issues of violence, social exclusion, stigmatisation, and discrimination, are often entirely omitted from discussion and analysis of decriminalisation in Portugal. This report describes perspective on the Portuguese decrminalisation model from the perspective of the community, drawing from a 2016 consultation with Portugal’s drug user rights organisation CASO (Consumidores Associados Sobrevivem Organizados).

Extended-Release Opioid Agonist Products: A Community Position Statement

In recent years, services and options for people with opiate dependence have expanded to include a range of prolonged-release buprenorphine formulations. Although these new options can represent the right solution for some individuals, a significant risk of a coercive use exists, especially in countries where people who use drugs are highly criminalised and discriminated against. In such contexts, these medications could be used as a means to reduce people’s choice with regard to their bodily integrity and their drug use. In return, this could essentially enforce prohibition and morally-driven ideas of abstinence. This paper outlines the position of INPUD developed after extensive research and in consultation with people who use drugs and our allies. It was written in collaboration with, and endorsed by, INWUD, ANPUD, AfricaNPUD, USU, ENPUD and LANPUD.

Facilitating the Meaningful Involvement of People who Use Drugs in Country Coordinating Mechanisms (CCMs)

The Global Fund considers that the Country Coordinating Mechanisms (CCMs)are “central to the Global Fund’s commitment to local ownership and are a ground-breaking, innovative mechanism towards stakeholder collaboration and participatory decision-making.” Despite this, people who use and inject drugs are rarely involved in official roles in Global Fund mechanisms, including CCMs, and are rarely meaningfully involved in discussions that impact their lives and livelihoods. This guide was designed by INPUD and ANPUD to strengthen the capacity of people who use and inject drugs in order to effectively and safely engage in the development, implementation and oversight of Global Fund grants and related processes at the national and regional levels, especially through CCMs

Drug User Peace Initiative

INPUD’s Drug User Peace Initiative was conducted in January 2015 in the lead up to the 2016 UN General Assembly Special Session on Drugs (UNGASS) to highlight some of the most considerable and systemic harms that are done to people who use drugs in the name of the war on drugs. The campaign includes four key documents, each with a specific focus, that provide evidence-based arguments which can be used to inform advocacy by drug user activists and their organisations, as well as other drug law reform activists and key stakeholders, and are designed particularly to be used for such purposes leading up to the UNGASS session and beyond.

Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) for People who Inject Drugs: Community Voices on Pros, Cons, and Concerns

As the use of PrEP for preventing HIV transmission becomes more prevalent, it is essential that affected communities be meaningfully involved in related policymaking and in any subsequent programme implementation. INPUD therefore researched the knowledge, beliefs, and opinions of people who inject drugs about potential pros, cons, and concerns related to PrEP. With this paper, INPUD aims to amplify the voices of people who inject drugs so that their unique knowledge and perspectives can be taken into account as policies related to PrEP are formulated.

Sex Workers who Use Drugs: Ensuring a Joint Approach

This joint briefing paper by NSWP and INPUD highlights the specific needs and rights of sex workers who use drugs, as a community that spans two key populations. This document provides an overview of some of the most endemic and substantive ways in which sex workers who use drugs face double criminalisation and associated police harassment, intersectional stigma, compounded marginalisation and social exclusion, heightened interference and harassment from healthcare and other service providers, infantilisation, pathologisation, and an associated undermining of agency, choice, and self-determination. A Community Guide is also available.

The Harms of Drug Use: Criminalisation, Misinformation, and Stigma

Globally, criminalisation of and punitive approaches to drug use continue to be implemented, in spite of there being little evidence to suggest that these policies have yielded positive results. This report, published jointly by INPUD and Youth RISE and authored by Dr. Jay Levy, argues that harms surrounding drug use are primarily caused due to punitive laws and policies, along with their justificatory social constructions and stigmas, which also worsens many of other avoidable harms.