Sunday, October 17, 2010

Socialcast IDU Group

Dear IDU Bloggers,

The IDU Blog, now about 2 years old, is rapidly being superceded by the IDU group on Socialcast.

Currently, messages sent to the Blog are automatically streamed onto Socialcast. Those of you who are signed up for the Blog and Socialcast IDU group will have noticed that duplication.

To avoid that issue, increasingly, we will disseminate information directly through Socialcast, rather than from the Blog. So, if you have not done so already, please take a few seconds and sign up for the IDU group on Socialcast, by going to:

In the near future, we will decide whether or not to keep this blog running, or just switch everything over to Socialcast.

Cheers for now

Harm Reduction Conference - Lebanon - Film Submissions

In April 2011 the Int'l Harm Reduction conference will be held in Beirut, Lebanon.

Call for Submissions
The Film Festival of the IHRA conference screens documentaries, advocacy films, training videos, and fictional work relevant to reducing drug and alcohol related harms. Films shown at the event have subsequently been used for advocacy purposes in many countries.

Film Submission Deadlines
Film abstracts close on Friday 17th December 2010

For further information please email the Drugs & Harm Reduction Film Fest Committee:
or go to:

Thursday, October 14, 2010

New HCV Test Predicts Treatment Success

The following fact sheet on Hepatitis C testing discusses new genetic tests which can be used as a tool in treatment decisions. The tests look at the genetic characteristics of an individual and predict their chance of treatment success.

Additional fact sheets are available here on a wide range of topics related to HCV.


Rapid Hepatitis C Testing Now Available

The FDA recently approved Orasure Technologies rapid HCV (hepatitis C virus) test.
Orasure is selling the test for less than $2 U.S. per unit ($1,950 for 1,000 tests).

PSI/Washington can procure the tests if a platform is interested in adding HCV testing to its IDU program. The FDA approval is sufficient for USAID-funded programs but the procurement department can also assist in determining if additional registration or approval is needed in country.

NOTE: If a platform adds HCV testing to its programs, strong linkages to treatment are a must.

For more information on HCV testing procurement, contact Ken Bonneville at For information on program design contact Rob ( or me (


Friday, September 10, 2010

IHRA Call for Abstracts Now Open!

- April 3-7 in Beirut, Lebanon
- Website:
- Theme: Building capacity, redressing neglect

- Must be in English
- Maximum words 300
- Three format options
Click here for the IHRA Guide for Submitting An Abstract. Please read this carefully

The HIV Department is coordinating, in partnership with Research & Metrics, abstract review to improve quality and increase the likelihood of acceptance.

Review Process

October 11, 2010 First drafts submitted by lead author to
October 18, 2010 Abstracts returned to lead author with review comments
October 25,2010 Revised abstracts re-submitted to abstract reviewer
October 29, 2010 Final review returned to lead author
Oct 29-Nov 5 Lead authors submit final abstracts online
November 5, 2010 Final abstracts to be submitted by lead author. Go to and follow links to "register"

PSI/W does not have funding allocated to assist PSI platform staff to attend the conference.

There are a limited number of scholarships offered by the conference itself. More details at:

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

New Needle and Syringe Program manual

The Harm Reduction Coalition in the US has created a new Guide to Developing and Managing Syringe Access Programs (SAPs) available for downloading here:

There are many such manuals out there, but the Harm Reduction Coalition is a highly reliable source and the manual may be helpful to your program.


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Compulsory Drug Detention Centers

The link below will take you to a short video on the topic of compulsory drug detention centers in Asia.

This has been a controversial topic for PSI, as we conduct HIV prevention activities in some of these centers in Asia. Some groups (Human Rights Watch, Soros, and others) argue that the centers should simply be shut down and that working in these centers risks giving them legitimacy, and that the work conducted in the centers has questionable value. We have argued that the centers are the location for many risk behaviors and that our work in the centers results in improved health behaviors, so the work has real value. And we continue to engage with human rights groups about if/when/how to do such work.

I won't get into the details of this debate further, but would recommend that those of you who are involvd in this topic take 10 minutes to view the video. It will give you a good idea about how human rights organizations are framing their arguments around this issue.