Dear Drugreporter Global Giving Supporters!We would like to update you on our recent filming activity: We travelled to Romania to produce two movies, and launched a campaign, in collaboration with the Romanian Harm Reduction Network, to raise awareness of the current outbreak of HIV/AIDS among injecting drug users in Romania. For many years, HIV infections were very rare among injecting drug users in Romania: just one or two cases annually. This situation has changed dramatically in recent years. A market boom in new psychoactive stimulants (sold as “ethnobotanicals”) has led to a rapid increase in the number of drug injections: a heroin user injects 4-5 times a day - a stimulant drug user 10-15 times. As a result, HIV is rapidly increasing among drug users in Romania. Previously, successful harm reduction programs in Romania were funded by the Global Fund, but when it withdrew from the country, the Government did not maintain support for these life-saving services. As a result, programs have been forced to shut down. In our short documentary and taster, experts and users call upon the government to provide funding for harm reduction. Please join the campaign: watch and share this video and take action to stop HIV!
The situation is similar in Serbia, with the exception that an HIV epidemic has not yet started among injecting users, thanks to the existing harm reduction measures. Just like in Romania, Global Fund support will stop, Government funding is uncertain, and the result may well be a similar rapidly-growing HIV epidemic. We travelled to film in Belgrade, and we are planning to produce our movies in the coming month. You can find many photos on Facebook about our filming trip!
The Drugreporter video team will be attending the Drug Reform conference in Denver, USA. As official conference film-makers, we will record sessions and produce video blogs about the event. For updates of the conference, follow us on Facebook!
For our movie on InSite, the safer injection room in Vancouver, we won the prize for the best Web Video documentary, in the Hungarian Kreatív Magazine's Annual contest. At the end of the year we bought a new camera, a Canon 5d Mark III. It will improve the quality of our movies, and we can now produce really good quality still images too. Thank you very much for your support!
Yours sincerely, István Gábor Takács and Péter Sárosi HCLU/Drugreporter
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Drug Policy Program Director