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Women, Harm Reduction, and HIV

Women who use drugs are more vulnerable to HIV infection than male drug users. They share injection equipment and are often "second on the needle." Engagement in sex work and low levels of condom use add to their risk of infection. At the same time, women face greater obstacles to accessing the services they need to protect their health. This report examines women's access to harm reduction, reproductive health, and HIV/AIDS services in five countries: Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, and Ukraine.

Included in this report are the following topics:

  • Barriers to appropriate HIV testing and treatment
  • Pregnancy and obstacles to parenting
  • Domestic violence, police abuse, and lack of legal recourse
  • Health insurance and medical costs
  • Sexual risk and poor access to sexual health services
  • Gender-specific risks and barriers to harm reduction services

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