Why Overdose Matters for HIV

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For most drug users and people who work with them, overdose is an urgent issue. Many AIDS, harm reduction, and other drug service organizations have created programs to educate people who use drugs about overdose prevention and response techniques; to distribute naloxone—a safe and highly effective opioid overdose antidote that is included in the World Health Organization’s Model List of Essential Medicines; and to document the extent of overdose and the success of responses. But funding has been limited.

Recently, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria issued guidance that they will support these kinds of overdose prevention activities. Other AIDS funders are beginning to follow this lead, and service providers should ensure that overdose services are available to their drug-using clients directly or through local referral networks.

This document presents arguments that organizations can make to AIDS funders to show that overdose prevention and response matter for HIV programming.