The purpose of this document is to outline the rationale for harm reduction programmes. It outlines generic approaches that National Societies can adapt to the realities of their countries in the development and implementation of harm reduction programme and in conducting advocacy for the acceptance and realization such programmes.


The guidelines outline the epidemiological data concerning injecting drug use and HIV infection; the increasing drug and injecting drug use; and needle sharing. The human rights, humanitarian and public health rationales as well as cost effectiveness of harm reduction programmes are laid out. Finally, information and possible activities for National Societies are outlined.


The guidelines are designed for National Society staff and volunteers working at all levels and for those involved in planning, organizing, implementing and assessing harm reduction programmes, as well as those involved in advocacy. The document also sets out ideas related to programme development, ways to facilitate programme implementation, as well as ways to plan and realize advocacy activities.

Audience: National Society staff and volunteers

See alsoOut of harm’s way: Injecting drug users and harm reduction (Advocacy report) 2010

Document Data

Author: IFRC
Publication date: January 1, 2003
Status: Final Type: PDF Size (MB): Size: 2.16
Country: Global
Theme(s): Health
Tagged in: HIV/AIDS
Resource type: Guidelines, Report

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