Global Fund Technical Brief: Harm reduction for people who use drugs

This technical brief describes how interventions for people who use drugs are to be incorporated into funding requests to the Global Fund. The Global Fund is the major source of international funding in low- and middle-income countries for harm reduction, and it supports evidence-based interventions aimed at ensuring access to HIV prevention, treatment, care, and support for all key populations, including people who use drugs.

According to Global Fund policy, lower-middle and upper-middle income countries applying for funding must focus 100% of budget on key populations and 50% of budget on underserved populations, as well as on the highest-impact interventions. Low-income countries are also strongly encouraged to target resources to those at highest risk.

It is therefore strongly recommended that all countries with evidence of HIV transmission among people who use drugs include in their proposals harm reduction programs for people who use drugs, both in the general community and in prison and other closed settings.

The harm reduction interventions outlined in this brief include those recommended in the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Consolidated Guidelines on HIV Prevention, Diagnosis, Treatment and Care for Key Populations (2016). Those guidelines expanded upon the ones issued by WHO, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in the WHO, UNAIDS, UNODC Technical Guide for Countries to Set Targets for Universal Access to HIV Prevention, Treatment and Care for Injecting Drug Users – 2012 Revision.

This technical brief is also aligned with the programmatic guidance in Implementing Comprehensive HIV and HCV Programmes with People Who Inject Drugs: Practical Guidance for Collaborative Interventions (the “IDUIT”, 2017), which combines the experience and expertise of United Nations agencies, other international partners, and organizations and networks of people who use drugs.

Global Fund Technical Brief: Harm reduction for people who use drugs