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Crimea facing 'human tragedy' on Aids: UN envoy

Published on May 8, 2014 8:03 PM
 

PARIS (AFP) - The UN AIDS envoy for eastern Europe on Thursday said Crimea faced a "human tragedy" and risks to public health after a programme for intravenous drug users was scrapped following Russia's takeover.

"Politics has won out over science - and doctors, scientists, and humanitarians are right to feel abhorrence that a new human tragedy has been imposed on Crimea," Michel Kazatchkine said in a commentary published by the British Medical Journal (BMJ).

Kazatchkine said that under Ukrainian rule, Crimea provided addicts with access to methadone, a safer substitute for heroin, and to buprenorphine, a drug used to ease dependence.

Endorsed by the World Health Organisation (WHO), this "substitution" therapy is a proven success in weaning addicts off heroin and halting the spread of HIV, Kazatchkine said.

 
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