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Cross-posted from AlterNet:

By Allan Clear, Executive Director of the Harm Reduction Coalition

Everyone knows that Barack Obama became the 44th president of the United States last Tuesday, Jan. 20. As an advocate for sound, sane drug policy and HIV prevention, I hope that his inauguration will mark a change to an administration that chooses science over dogma.

By contrast, practically no one knows about the Commission on Narcotic Drugs meeting that will take place in Vienna, Austria, six weeks from now, March 12-13. This meeting of United Nations member states will review the results of the1998 U.N. General Assembly Special Session on drugs that set the framework for the last decade's international drug policy. They will then release a political declaration that will set the framework for the next decade -- and, by implication, the course for the global response to the HIV epidemic as it affects drug users.

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By Cristy Latagan, Assistant Training Coordinator for the Harm Reduction Coalition

To address the ways that HIV and homophobia intersect and must be redressed, New York City’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center held an event hosted by the Community HIV/AIDS Mobilization Project (CHAMP)the other night.

Think HIV/AIDS is passé? That homophobia is so last century? In the United States, where 45% of the roughly 1 million people living with HIV are men who contracted the virus via sex with men — and 49% of new diagnosis were among black men — homophobia remains a key factor in the spread of HIV.

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Cross-posted from AlterNet's Drug Reporter

What if we had a mechanism that stopped the spread of HIV that experts had speculated would work even before the cause of AIDS had been identified and that subsequent scientific enquiry confirmed was effective? We do, that mechanism is syringe exchange.

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