Monday, July 12, 2010

The Drug Policy Networking Zone at the AIDS 2010 conference in Vienna


IAS AIDS conference 2010 in Vienna:
Drug Policy Networking Zone in the Global Village

Transform Drug Policy Foundation and the International Drug Policy Consortium are co-orgainising and hosting the Drug Policy Networking Zone at the XVIII International AIDS Conference in Vienna, Austria, from 17 to 23 July 2010. You can download the networking zone flyer and event schedule here(pdf).

About XVIII International HIV/AIDS Conference (AIDS 2010)

The International AIDS Conference is the worlds premier gathering for those working in the field of HIV, policy makers, persons living with HIV and other individuals committed to ending the pandemic. There will be over 25,000 delegates at the main conference, and the Global Village is additionally open to the public.

It is now clear that stigma, discrimination and human rights violations, as well as punitive or misguided policies towards key populations most affected by HIV, are major obstacles to an effective response to HIV.

Given the 2010 deadline for universal access set by world leaders, AIDS 2010 will coincide with a major push for expanded access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support. With a global economic crisis threatening to undermine public investments, the conference will help keep HIV on the front burner, and will be a chance to demonstrate the importance of continued HIV investments to broader health and development goals. In this context, the protection of human rights is a fundamental prerequisite to an effective response to HIV.

This year's conference has a special focus on drug policy reform with the launch and pormotion of the Vienna Declaration being one its primary aims.

The Drug Policy Networking Zone

The Drug Policy Networking Zone, located in the Global Village, is a space for sharing ideas, experiences and expertise on drug policy reform. It is also a place to forge new links and develop strategic thinking. We’ve joined forces with the Harm Reduction and Human Rights Networking Zones to produce a ‘mega’ zone with a full schedule of talks, discussions, debates and multimedia running throughout the week. Click here to find out more about the full programme of events that will be taking place in the ‘mega’ zone.

Opening Reception

There is an opening reception of the Drug Policy, Harm Reduction and Human Rights networking zones on Sunday 18th July, 16:00-18:00. All welcome.

Press briefing

We will be holding a press briefing in the Drug Policy Networking Zone from 15:30-16:00 on Sunday 18th July.

Highlights from the Drug Policy Networking zone event shedule include:

  • What can the drug policy reform movement learn from HIV/AIDS activism?
Tuesday 20 July, 16:00-16:45
Civil society actors within the HIV movement have a much stronger presence and a louder voice within drug policy debates than civil society within drug policy reform. This session aims to discuss and debate the essential features of AIDS activism that could inform drug policy activism.
  • ”Beyond a declaration”, how can we continue to move towards drug policy reform?
Wednesday 21 July, 14:15-15:15
The Vienna Declaration is a global call for science-based drug policy and is the official declaration of AIDS 2010. The session will feature one of the declaration’s key authors, Evan Wood, from the International Centre for Science in Drug Policy, Steve Rolles from Transform and Kasia Malinowska-Sempruch from OSI.
  • Drug policy and law reform: progress and challenges for the future
Wednesday 21 July, 12:00-13:00 and Thursday 22 July, 16:30-17:30
Policies that act as a barrier to drugs services can increase the health risk for injecting drug users putting them at greater exposure to blood-borne infections, including HIV. The panel will look at how lobbying, campaigning and legal challenges against such policies and interventions can lead to law reforms that ultimately provide greater protection to IDUs and enable them to access drug treatment and harm reduction services without fear of being punished.


We welcome volunteers to help us with the organisation and staffing of our zone in the Global Village.  Please contact Marie at if interested.

For those attending - we look forward to seeing you in Vienna! For those not attending the conference you can follow the weeks activities on the blog and twitter.


Anonymous said...

It is wrong though isn't it, this work. It starts off with the surious and meaningless concept of 'illicit drugs' and then makes the cardinal sin of describing drugs as 'illegal'. That's the flaw at the root of all evil.

Darryl Bickler

Steve Rolles said...

no. its not wrong. its just not your campaign. its something different.

Mafficker said...


I solute your commitment to harm reduction. I got my start in the East Bay of San Francisco handing out needle kits in the late 80's. And my dear sweet housemate Rick suffered a, gratefully, fairly quick but agonizing death at the hands of HIV-AIDS. I've seen the needle and the damage done, to quote a friend.

I still think it was the slow infestation of the US prohibitionist policy and its semantic pollution paradigm, cemented by the false though convenient distinction of legal/illegal drugs, that exacerbates the harm and intransigence in UK government drug policy.

And, Darryl, please remember, we are working towards common goals, each of us contributes what we can, and we must always place principles before personalities. This is bigger and more important than all of us!

Our work will eventually save lives. And that is what I am committed to, humanity.

And no-one kills the children anymore!

Anonymous said...

It is wrong though!!/topic.php?uid=108611532515232&topic=71

Steve Rolles said...

Its not wrong. Its an extremely important p[owerful and influential intiative that is garnering huge attaention across the world, highlighting the injustices and harms of the drug wafr, and building a massive body of high level support behind meaningful reform and science based policy.

You need to pick you battles and focus your undoubted energy and skills on the right targets. this isnitiative was not the place to run your ideas.

Anonymous said...

Steve, do you have a copy of the transcript of the oral evidence before the science and technology c'tee, the follow up on 22 November 2006? Read what Vernon Coaker is saying.

Anonymous said...

I support the declaration and the work you do. I think it's a shame that the DEA work on language has been sidelined and this is my frustration coming through on that. This is great work - I just wanted to give it an extra edge. BTW - It's not just UK law, human actions are made unlawful under Art 36(1)(a) of the 1961 UN Drugs Convention and all subsequent foreign legislation - the illegal/legal drugs divide is also the given reason why alcohol and tobacco are treated differently in law and why the status quo seems reasonable to government.


the prof speaks sh*te said...


You must have the patience of a saint to put up with all these DEA 'contributions' to your blog. I'd be less tolerant, myself...