The first meeting of executive board of ‘Asian network of people who use drugs’ (ANPUD) was held in Bangkok on August 25-27.
ANPUD is the first registered regional network of people who use drugs, and was established by people who use drugs to unify voices of their communities to advocate changes in drug laws and policies that negatively affected their lives and for better access to prevention, treatment and care services across Asia.
The executive board consisted of seven members from South and South East Asia. The board in its meeting agreed upon objectives for ANPUD over next two years to establish or strengthen National Networks of people who use drugs in five Asian countries and support in-country peer networks in their advocacy efforts.
The board also agreed upon the following objectives for ANPUD over next two years i.e. to establish or strengthen national networks of people who use drugs in five Asian countries and support in-country peer networks in their advocacy efforts; promote a platform and common voice for people who use drugs in Asia to advocate for the harmonisation of policies, decriminalisation and reducing stigma and discrimination at forums where people who use drugs should be represented; and advocate for universal access to a range of diverse, evidence based, locally driven harm reduction approaches in conformity with the ‘WHO, UNODC, UNAIDS technical guide for universal access to HIV prevention, treatment and care’ for people who use drugs in the Asian region with a special focus on access to Hepatitis C diagnosis and treatment.
According to member ANPUD, Abou Mere, a group of regional stakeholders based in Bangkok were invited to meet and dialogue with the board.
Representatives from UNODC, UNAIDS, the UN Regional Task Force on Injecting Drug Use and HIV and AIDS in Asia and the Pacific, Aus AID Bangkok, the HIV and AIDS Asia Regional Program (HAARP), APN+, Coalition of Asia Pacific Regional Networks on HIV and AIDS (7 Sisters) and Burnet Institute Regional Office were among those who attended the meet.