Monday, September 29, 2008

PSI Films at Int'l Harm Reduction Festival in 2009?

The call for submissions of films/video related to IDU has come out for the 2009 Int'l Harm Reduction Conference.

If your program has any film/video (long or short) that you think might be appropriate, please see the submission information below.

Deadeline for submission is Jan 15th.


Call for Submissions

The ‘International Drugs and Harm Reduction Film Fest’ has become an integral part of the annual IHRA conferences. Following the success of the fifth event in Barcelona in 2008, we are pleased to provide an even bigger stage in Bangkok, Thailand for film-makers to present their latest films, training videos, documentaries or fictional works.

The Sixth International Drugs and Harm Reduction Film Festival in Bangkok will run from April 19th to the 23rd 2009 as a parallel stream in the conference programme for ‘Harm Reduction 2009: IHRA’s 20th International Conference’. For more information about Harm Reduction 2009, please visit

For more information about the film festival, please visit:

Film Submissions
If you are interested in submitting a film, please complete the submission form on the following page and email it to Alternatively, please contact the film festival organisers at for more information.

All submissions will be subject to review by a panel and are not guaranteed to be screened. All films must be:
• In English (or have English subtitles)
• On DVD or Video (DHS or PAL) formats

We are also interested to know if you will able to attend the conference to present your film, so please mark the appropriate box when filling out the submission form. Delegates will be required to register for the conference.

All films must be submitted with a hard copy and an electronic copy of the submission form by January 15th 2009.

In early 2009, the film festival team will determine which films are suitable for either Lounge Sessions (where films are screened and unaccompanied by a presenter) or Symposium Screenings, which offer the opportunity for someone who has been involved (directly or indirectly) in the making of a film (up to 30 minutes long) to introduce and discuss their work.

Presenters must also register for the conference – please visit for more information.

Submission Form

Film Title:
Year of Production:
English Subtitles:
Will a presenter be attending the conference? Yes No Undecided

Name of person presenting the film:
Email address:
Postal address:
Telephone number:
Synopsis of the film:
(250 words maximum)

Please indicate your answers to the questions below by placing an ‘A’ (accept) or ‘D’ (decline) at the end of the question.

1. Do you agree to have your film used for educational purposes by the Centre for Harm Reduction outside of the conference film festival?

2. Do you agree to have your contact details provided to others interested in your film?

Please post films and submissions to:

Burnet Institute,
6th Drugs Film Fest c/o Peter Higgs
The Burnet Building,
85 Commercial Rd,
Melbourne, Victoria, 3004 Australia

Please ensure you include your film with your submission form

New research on Injecting Initiation

Important new paper on initiation of IDU (below). The paper itself will be in the IDU library on the PSI website ( soon.


Harocopos, A., et al. New injectors and the social context of injection initiation. Int J Drug Policy (2008), doi:10.1016/j.drugpo.2008.06.003

Research paper

New injectors and the social context of injection initiation

Preventing the onset of injecting drug use is an important public health objective yet there is little understanding of the process that leads to injection initiation. This paper draws extensively on narrative data to describe how injection initiation is influenced by social environment. We examine how watching other people inject can habitualise non-injectors to administering drugs with a needle and consider the process by which the stigma of injecting is replaced with curiosity.

In-depth interviews (n = 54) were conducted as part of a 2-year longitudinal study examining the behaviours of new injecting drug users.

Among our sample, injection initiation was the result of a dynamic process during which administering drugs with a needle became acceptable or even appealing. Most often, this occurred as a result of spending time with current injectors in a social context and the majority of this study's participants were given their first shot by a friend or sexual partner. Initiates could be tenacious in their efforts to acquire an injection trainer and findings suggest that once injecting had been introduced to a drug-using network, it was likely to spread throughout the group.

Injection initiation should be viewed as a communicable process. New injectors are unlikely to have experienced the negative effects of injecting and may facilitate the initiation of their drug-using friends. Prevention messages should therefore aim to find innovative ways of targeting beginning injectors and present a realistic appraisal of the long-term consequences of injecting. Interventionists should also work with current injectors to develop strategies to refuse requests from non-injectors for their help to initiate.
Keywords: Injecting drug use; Initiation; Social setting; Narratives

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

IDU Resource Library now online

PSI/Washington's IDU Resource Library has now gone online! The articles are available at and sorted by topic. Just click on the topic and the resources will appear underneath.

If you have any questions- or any resources to add- please send them to


1 in 5

According to a recent Lancet report, about 1 in 5 IDUs worldwide are living with HIV.

News story on this below. I'll try to get the report and circulate it around.


Nearly one in five intravenous drug users may have HIV: estimate
5 hours ago

PARIS (AFP) — Around 16 million people around the world inject illegal drugs, and nearly one in five of them may have the AIDS virus, according to an estimate published online Wednesday by The Lancet.

The global tally of intravenous drug users (IDUs) is put at 15.9 million, around three million of whom could have the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), it says.

China has largest number of IDUs, with a mid-range estimate of 2.35 million people. The HIV infection rate among them is calculated at 12.3 percent.

The United States has the second highest total, with around 1.85 million IDUs and an estimated infection rate among them of between 15.6 percent.

The report also warned of high HIV numbers among IDUs in Ukraine and Russia, which could be 42 percent and 37 percent respectively.

The assessment is led by Bradley Mathers of the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia.

It is based on official national figures and estimates published in peer-reviewed journals.

The review covers 148 countries, but admits that many blanks remain where the data are sketchy or absent and the range estimates are broad.

"Areas of particular concern are countries in Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin America, where the prevalence of HIV among some sub-populations of people who inject drugs has been reported to be over 40 percent," the paper says.

Injecting drug use is one of the major drivers for the global AIDS pandemic.

HIV is spread by infected IDUs who share syringes or turn to prostitution, which thus helps the virus to enter the main population.

AIDS campaigners say the problem has to be tackled by a panoply of methods, including programmes to exchange used needles for sterile ones and the use of methadone, an opiate substitute, to wean IDUs off heroin.
Hosted by Copyright © 2008 AFP. All rights reserved. More »

Monday, September 22, 2008

2008 Harm Reduction Conference - Presentations

The 19th International Harm Reduction Conference took place from 11th – 15th May 2008 in Barcelona, Spain. You can now dowload most of the presentations (including PSI's) from the following website:



Monday, September 1, 2008

Overdose Awareness Day

August 31 was Overdose Awareness Day.

Please see message below for an important new resource on this important IDU-related health issue.


Dear Colleagues,

Though overdose related death is preventable, it remains one of the leading causes of death among people who inject drugs. The Eurasian Harm Reduction Network (EHRN), to mark Overdose Awareness Day, August 31, has created a report highlighting the situation in our region and making recommendations for action. The report is available for download:

In English: (PDF, 800 KB)

In Russian: (PDF, 1.2 MB)

Also please find attached a press release, backgrounder and a list of useful resources.Please feel free to distribute widely.

Your feedback is welcome as we want to seek ways to cooperate to better address this critical issue. We ask everybody to recognize the importance of this issue and take action!

Kind regards!


Jekaterina Navicke
Information Coordinator
Eurasian Harm Reduction Network

Siauliu St. 5/1 -21, Vinius, Lithuania LT-01133
Tel.: +370 5 269 1600, +370 652 00 523
Fax: +370 5 269 1601