On 27TH of April, UNITE successfully organized the second edition of the Joint Action Policy Day, which brought together various global stakeholders to discuss and issue recommendations on the role of Risk Reduction and Harm Reduction (HR) in eliminating the threat of hepatitis C, HIV and tuberculosis in people who use drugs. The event organized jointly with HRI, APDES and INHSU, is part of the goal of improving the health and well-being of this population group, in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals3.

Starting from the Portuguese model of HR, driven by a globally recognized decriminalization policy as an example, speakers and international participants discussed challenges and opportunities for the introduction and expansion of HR.

Before the meeting, members of parliament and civil society organizations visited Casa da Vila Nova, a community-based organization outskirts of Porto providing integrated health and social care for homelesses and drug users.

Funded mainly by the government, Casa da Vila Nova provides syringe exchange, methadone, test and treatment for HIV, HepC, Syphilis and Tuberculosis, and also  psychosocial support, meals and shelter.

Joint Action Policy Day Main Statistics:

  • 184 Policy Day participants
  • 54 Site-visit participants
  • 30 countries represented
  • 80 Entities represented
  • 15 Members of Parliament
  • 37 Community Organizations represented
  • 12 Donor entities represented
  • 8 Scientific/Academic entities represented
  • 22 Policymakers, government officials, local representatives, law firms, among other entities represented
  • 16 Press Publications represented