The 20th anniversary of the discovery of HIV has coincided with the latest setback in the efforts to defeat the virus, writes Norman Fowler, former UK health secretary in [s]The Independent[/s]. He says one of the unwelcome first results of the Russian takeover of Crimea has been a radical change in policy on the treatment of injecting drug users. Previously, about 800 drug users in Crimea were treated for addiction by [b]methadone[/b], or another similar-acting buprenorphine. This treatment is now being closed down. Fowler says the vast advantage of methadone is that it is taken orally. Transmission of HIV by shared needles is thus eliminated and the drug user is able to hold down a job and reconnect with family. The [b]International Network of People Who Use Drugs[/b] has appealed to international health organisations to urge Russia to change its policy.
[link url=http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/battling-aids-former-health-secretary-claims-russia-is-causing-setback-in-efforts-to-defeat-the-virus-9256649.html]Full report in The Independent[/link]