World AIDS day - The right to health and adequate access to controlled substances 

Vienna, 1 December 2017 - This year's World AIDS Day campaign focuses on the right to health. The promotion of the health and welfare of mankind is the ultimate goal of the drug control conventions. To this end, State Parties have an obligation to ensure the availability of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances for medical and scientific purposes, while preventing their illicit cultivation and manufacture, diversion, trafficking and abuse. Currently, there exists a grave imbalance in the availability of and access to medicines containing controlled substances: about three-quarters of the global population does not have proper access to pain relief treatment.

Alongside treatment and management of AIDS, prevention is key. Article 38 of the 1961 Single Convention recalls the obligation of Governments to give special attention to and take all practicable measures for the prevention of the use of substances as well as early identification, treatment, education, after-care, rehabilitation and social reintegration.

Preventing the transmission of HIV/AIDS among people who inject drugs is an essential component to reducing HIV/AIDS infections and related deaths. Globally, one of the main drivers of the AIDS epidemic is the transmission through the sharing of injecting equipment. The right to health of individuals dependant on opioids directly relates to the availability and non-discriminatory access to treatments, including opiate substitution therapy with internationally controlled substances, such as methadone and buprenorphine.

INCB calls on Governments to devote efforts to end AIDS through prevention, adequate treatment and overall respect the right to health of people living with AIDS.

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