Naloxone distribution

Naloxone is to be made more readily available next month. Public Health England’s Steve Taylor looks at how local services and commissioners can respond to this change in the law

Legislation to allow naloxone to be more widely available for those who need it is on track to be enacted next month. This follows the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD)’s recommendation in 2013 and a public consultation by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency in 2014 that saw wide support for the proposals.

The evidence shows that take-home naloxone given to service users, and training family members or peers in how to administer naloxone, can be effective in reversing heroin overdoses. Because it is only available as an injectable product, naloxone will remain a prescription-only medicine but the legislation will permit people working in commissioned, lawful drug treatment services to supply naloxone without a prescription to anyone needing it to prevent a heroin overdose.

Health Rights Online Film Festival

What's this?

This is the inaugural Health Rights Online Film Festival, brought to you by The Association of Schools of Public Health in the European Region (ASPHER). The festival's purpose is to collect and promote advocacy videos from around the world that focus on injustices at the intersection of public health and human rights.

On this site you can view all 76 films submitted, and vote for your favorites. Based on those votes, winners will be named on October 16th, 2015, at the European Public Health Association (EUPHA) Conference in Milan, Italy. The awards ceremony will also be livestreamed so you can watch from home.


Policy of Mandatory HIV Testing of Sex Workers Repealed in Greece

According to a report at Human Rights Watch (HRW), Greek Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras, on the 2nd of April, repealed the health regulation used to justify roundups and forced HIV testing of people alleged to be sex workers.

In April 2012, in response to a massive rise in HIV rates following health sector budget cuts due to the Greek economic crisis, police in Athens arrested drug users and suspected sex workers and forced them to undergo HIV testing. According to HRW, those found to be HIV positive were charged with causing intentional grievous bodily harm (a felony) or attempted bodily harm (a misdemeanor), for allegedly having unprotected sex with clients while knowing they were HIV positive. At least 12 sex workers had their names and private information published first on the police force’s website, then in newspapers, TV and by the Greek Center for Disease Control who disclosed their HIV-positive status.

Then Health Minister, Andreas Loverdos introduced legal provision 39A in April 2012, which made it mandatory to conduct forced HIV testing on suspected sex workers, undocumented migrants, and drug users. Human Rights Watch, UNAIDS, and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS had raised concerns about the regulation, which was reinstated the following year.

The World Bank Middle Income Classification of countries is Damaging People

On 4 September at the World Bank Office in Buenos Aires, held a meeting with delegations of civil society organizations and representatives of vulnerable communities. Representatives submitted a letter to the World Bank with a request to change the criteria for classification of countries regarding their income. Global Fund terminates funding of prevention programs, treatment, care and support for HIV, tuberculosis and malaria to middle-income countries, although the need to support these programs is great. Christian Jankulovski, CEO of "HOPS - Healthy Options Project Skopje" led the delegation.

Call for Articles for the 5th issue of the Drugs – Policies and Practices magazine

HOPS – Healthy Options Project Skopje’s Center for Education, Documentation and Research and Coalition “Sexual and Health Rights of Marginalized Communities” announce call for articles for the 5­th issue of the Drugs – Policies and Practices.

Drugs – Policies and Practices promotes topics about drugs, drug use, drug treatment, and other related topics, such as: sex work, HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis B and C, Tuberculosis, rights of the marginalized groups/communities, gender perspectives, free access to public information, researches, policies, advocacy, civil society, activism, social work, social policy, health.

Drugs – Policies and Practices target audience are people who use drugs, people on drug addiction treatment, experts for drug use and drug treatment issues and all people with interest for these topics. It is published both in Macedonian (printed and online) and in English (online).

Amnesty International votes for decriminalisation of sex work


The Global Network of Sex Work Projects (NSWP) thanks Amnesty International for standing firm with sex workers and passing the resolution calling for the full decriminalisation of sex work.

Sex workers and sex worker rights activists across the world have been campaigning tirelessly these past few weeks to highlight the importance of a call for the full decriminalisation of sex work. Many sex worker groups and allies across the world wrote to Amnesty International’s Secretary General in support of the proposed policy on sex work. One such letter, from Empower Foundation in Thailand - which has been advocating for the rights of Thai sex workers for over 30 years - wrote:

"Criminalization has not led to increased human rights or reduced abuses; it has only led to more stigma and more real crimes."

Participants announcement 2015 IPA Ohrid 05 – 09.10.2015

We are proud to announce details for the 1st Summer School on HIV Prevention in Macedonia! 

Civil Association Healthy Options Project Skopje and NGO Labyrinth are organizing “1st Summer School on HIV Prevention”. This summer school will offer multidisciplinary aspects of learning the HIV prevention, considering the social, medical, psychosocial, law, safety and policy issues.

The aim of the summer school is to create a supportive environment for future professionals that will work in HIV prevention programs in Macedonia and Kosovo.

Program of the school is focused on HIV prevention policy models, evidence based treatment, institutional and non-institutional mechanisms on HIV prevention, marginalized groups and gender perspectives and human rights in developing and implementing HIV prevention programs.

Trainer announcment

„HOPS - Healthy Options Project Skopje“ releases a call for engaging trainers for Summer School on HIV prevention Association HOPS - Healthy Options Project Skopje for the project "Prevention of HIV transmissions and drug use among resident population in the cross-border area" announces a call for engagement of three trainers on HIV prevention.

The project is financially supported by the European Union through the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA), Component 2: Border Cooperation (CBC), Macedonia and Kosovo.

Final press-conference of the campaign "And I have a right to humane treatment and compassion"

Association "HOPS - Healthy Options Project Skopje" ends the video campaign "I have the right to humane treatment and compassion" which refers to children who use drugs. The campaign we are completing today 26th of June. The day match with the „International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking".  Also on this day is organized the campaign „Support. Do not punish“, which is implemented in more than 150 cities in the world, through which the civil society organizations around the world will require governments to introduce and promote more humane and effective policies which are based on the public health and human rights„. "HOPS" is joining the campaign emphasizing the children who use drugs. Today we want to recall оn all the problems of children who use drugs, which they are facing in Macedonia. Previously to remind you of the story of Sashe. Link 1 and link 2.

I have the right to humane treatment and compassion - conferention

The Association „HOPS - Healthy Options Project Skopje" continues with the promotion of the videos referring to children who use drugs.  Тhe campaign "I have the right to humane treatment and compassion“, held a conference which was attended by representatives from the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy, the City of Skopje, Psychiatric Hospital, the Institute of Social Affairs, Center for Social Work, World Health Organization and associations citizens.

The aim of the conference was to present the current situation about the problem with the children that use drugs. Problems were presented by researched data, but also from experiences of the institutions and associations. The discussion continued about the challenges and goals about the future actions.