Journal Article

Harm Reduction Actions as a Health Care Construction Process at a Public Health Center in Rosario, Argentina

Damián Lavarello, Miguel Lottero, Mario Chavero, Alejandra Toledo, Mario Espínola, Sandra Gerlero and Mónica Liborio

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 37, issue Supplement_5, pages S353-S357
Published in print December 2003 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online December 2003 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/377545
Harm Reduction Actions as a Health Care Construction Process at a Public Health Center in Rosario, Argentina

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Even faced with serious numbers of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and other infections among injection drug users (IDUs), Argentina lacks large-scale harm reduction programs at national, state, and local levels. We describe the strong relationship of IDUs with the HIV/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome epidemic in Rosario. We discuss a 2-year-long ongoing experience of drug-related harm reduction actions developed at a public health center, which began as a response to a spontaneous demand for needles and syringes and became a permanent and sustainable set of health actions for a group of nearly 50 IDUs, a larger number of drug users who do not inject, and their contacts. These actions comprise voluntary testing and counseling for HIV and other infections, reproductive counseling, condom promotion and distribution, and needle and syringe distribution without needle exchange. This experience, amenable to replication, shows that public health teams can engage successfully in harm reduction actions.

Journal Article.  3252 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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