In its latest Harm Reduction Information Note (pdf), which provides guidance for grant applicants, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria continues to encourage national HIV programs to include overdose prevention activities as part of a basic set of HIV services for people who use drugs.
The Global Fund has been supporting overdose education and naloxone for several years, initially in Russia and later in Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Thailand and elsewhere. The Fund first explicitly called on applicants to implement overdose programs in its Round 10 funding guidance in 2010. As the new Round 11 guidance states:
"[O]verdose prevention should be a core component of “targeted information, education and communication” for people who use drugs. Overdose is a major cause of mortality and morbidity among people who use drugs, impacting directly on HIV-related harm reduction services. Therefore, applicants are strongly encouraged to consider interventions such as peer and staff training in overdose prevention. In addition, applicants should also consider the strengthening of overdose responses – including legislative and policy reform where needed, and the low-threshold provision of naloxone (a WHO Essential Medicine that can reverse opioid overdoses) to communities of people who use drugs as well as through emergency health services. These low-cost approaches can empower health care workers and people who use drugs to save lives."Created in 2002, the Global Fund is a public-private financing body that has devoted more than $21 billion to controlling HIV, TB and Malaria in 150 low- and middle-income countries. Russian, French and Spanish versions of the Round 11 Information Note will be available soon and posted here.