Policing, harm reduction and AIDS: their connection

Harm reduction in the context of injecting drug use and HIV has been slowly evolving across countries in Southeast Asia but hasn’t been able to reach coverage rates considered necessary to halt and reverse the spread of HIV epidemic. Little is known about the impact of harm reduction programs and policies on the police approaches to drug use and drug users – knowledge essential for successful advocacy and program design.
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Are the programs and approaches aimed at fostering an environment supportive of harm reduction for all people who used drugs, effective at influencing law enforcement policy and practice or not? 

A thematic series entitled ‘Law Enforcement and Harm Reduction in SE Asia’ looks into these issues. It presents reports from a program of research carried out in these regions, examining the relationship of policing and harm reduction in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam – countries at different stages of evolution of the HIV epidemic, but where injecting drug use is a major driver of the national AIDS epidemic.

The aim of this series is to contribute to the better understanding and development of the police partnership in the fight against HIV in the SE Asian region.

Viewers with an interest in the worldwide AIDS epidemic in SE Asia and police practices are encouraged to read this series.

BioMed Central and Harm Reduction Journal would like to thank AUSAid for sponsoring all manuscripts in this series. 

Alexa Chamay Berrier

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