Michel Kazatchkine: The Drug War Fuels the AIDS Epidemic
Michel Kazatchkine has been a long-time advocate of harm reduction and the human rights of people who use drugs. He was one of the founders of Nova Dona, a French NGO providing services for injecting drug users in Paris. From 2007 and 2012 he was the head of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, an agency that saved lives of more than 6.5 million people around the world. He used his position to build strong partnership with civil society to overcome barriers to access to evidence-based services. When he stepped down this year it was a sad news for activists. However, he did not give up the fight. This summer he was appointed the Secretary General’s Special Envoy on HIV/AIDS in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Recently he joined the Global Commission on Drug Policy and added his voice to those committed leaders of the world who call for drug policy reform. Mr. Kazatchkine made a powerful speech at the „Twin Epidemics of HIV and Drug Use – Innovative Strategies for Health Communities”, a conference organized by Open Society Foundation to raise awarness on the role the war on drugs plays in fueling the global HIV epidemic.