The Golden Crescent and HIV/AIDS in Central Asia: deadly interactions.
Afghanistan has become the world's largest producer of illicit opiates. Opium and its derivative heroin are widespread substances of use, abuse and dependency in Central Asia. The region is currently undergoing expanding HIV epidemics driven largely by needle sharing among people who use drugs, in contexts where public health interventions to reduce the harms associated with substance use are limited by policy, law and legalistic and repressive approaches to drug users. Evidence-based approaches to drug treatment are lacking or limited in multiple states. Urgent reform is needed. The massive volumes of Afghan's illicit opiate exports are having serious impacts on the health of the region.
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