Although no action was organised on 26th June, as part of a communication advocacy project, the Romanian Harm Reduction Network (RHRN) produced a comic book on the effects of drug prohibition and available alternative options. This is the first part of a series aimed to explain the current situation of HIV among people who inject drugs in Romania, and the consequences of unbalanced drug policies. This will result in a bigger campaign aimed at bringing drug policy reform on the agenda. The Support. Don’t Punish campaign will also be promoted through various events this year.
The “Support. Don’t Punish” Day of Action was organised in Bucharest by the Romanian Harm Reduction Network (RHRN). The event in Romania was held in Bucharest on July 1st, where a protest was organized as a way to draw public attention on the ending of the biggest harm reduction project.
The protest was held in front of three ministries: the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Ministry of Labour. Protesters submitted petitions to all three ministries, demanding urgent action to stop the rapid spread of HIV among people who inject drugs in Romania; the cancellation of registering PUD by their identification number (the Ministry of Labour procedure) and the initiation of OST in police lock-ups and the acceleration of funding allocation to the National Anti-drug Agency as they have the possibility to contract NGOs for services provision.
There were about 80 participants – drug users accessing syringe exchange programs,OST patients, harm reduction professionals, interns and supporters.
As part of this protest, a happening was organized in front of the Ministry of Health: four volunteers wearing t-shirts with the campaign logo (Support. Don’t Punish.) were marked by a street artist symbolically impersonating the Ministry of Health with the mark “HIV” on their back. The meaning of this action was to highlight the fact that the Ministry passivity equals the sentencing of PUD to HIV, e.g. to disease and social marginalization.
At least 8 televisions and radio stations and journalists from 5 magazines and newspapers were present, creating the first occasion in Romania to openly talk and discuss about the needs of people who use drugs.
After the protest, the Romanian Harm Reduction Network had a meeting with MoH representatives and we discussed the emergency of the situation. In the next days, the National Infectious Diseases Institute Matei Bals, the institution nominated by MoH to coordinate HIV prevention among MARPs initiated the syringe procurement procedures. 169,000 syringes were procured in July. A cooperation protocol between the Institute and RHRN was signed by the end of July.
New actions are taken into consideration in order to ask for more governmental support for the project conducted by four RHRN member organizations on needle and syringes distribution and that will finish by 30th of October.
Lead organisation: Romanian Harm Reduction Network (RHRN)
Media coverage in Romania
- Epidemia HIV zagraża Rumunii
- Au fost distribuite seringi pentru cei care se droghează, însă unele ONG-uri le-au returnat, Media Fax
- ONG-urile, nemulțumite de seringile pentru consumatorii de droguri. Protest în fața a trei ministere, Evenimentul Zilei
- Unde poţi vorbi sub protecţia anonimatului cu medicul despre infecţia HIV/SIDA?, Doctorulzilei
- Introducerea tratamentelor personalizate pe lista medicamentelor compensate – o sansa la viata pentru milioane de bolnavi, Evz.ro
- ONG-urile avertizeaza ca in urma stoparii programelor de schimb de seringi creste riscul infectarii cu HIV/SIDA. Ministerul Sanatatii: Am alocat fondurile necesare pentru achizitia seringilor, unele ONG-uri le-au returnat, Hotnews.ro
- Zeci de organizatii civice protesteaza fata de renuntarea la includerea in Constitutie a definirii extinse pentru discrimnare, Hotnews.ro
- Vindecarea de HIV/SIDA, realitate sau numai speranţă?, Adevărul
- Consumator de droguri: „Îmi ascund seringa într-o scară sau într-un părculeţ, un copil poate să vină să se joace cu ea şi să se îmbolnăvească cu HIV/SIDA!”, Adevărul, Adevărul
- Conferinţe online despre HIV/SIDA la Institutul “Prof. Dr. Matei Balş”, Jurnalul Naţional
- Consiliere online despre HIV/SIDA, oferită de medici specialişti, Jurnalul Naţional
- Reuşită EXTRAORDINARĂ: Un tratament preventiv reduce la jumătate riscul infectării cu HIV în rândul toxicomanilor, Jurnalul Naţional
- Consumatorii de droguri îşi cer drepturile în stradă, România Liberă
- O epidemie HIV, pe cale de a izbucni în România, dcnews
- Seringi sterile vs. HIV. ONG-urile cer dovezi Ministerului Sănătății, dcnews
- Există riscul unei epidemii de SIDA, dcnews
- Protest împotriva stopării programului „Seringa sterilă vs. HIV”, dcnews
- Seringa sterilă vs HIV. Fără bani de la UE, ministerele fac promisiuni, dcnews
- Foc contra foc: Medicii explică tratarea leucemiei cu virusul HIV – VIDEO, dcnews
- O EPIDEMIE de HIV, la un pas sa izbucneasca in Romania.Bună ziua Iaşi
- Ministerul Sănătăţii:Au fost distribuite seringi destinate celor care se droghează, dar unele ONG-uri le-au returnatZiua de Cluj
- Un tratament preventiv reduce la jumătate riscul infectăriiHIV în rândul toxicomanilorMonitorul de Galaţi
- Preoţii, solidari cu tinerii bolnavi de SIDATelegraf Online Constanţa
- Consumatorii de droguri au primit seringi, ONG-urile le-au returnat!?Telegraf Online Constanţa
- Consiliere online despre HIV/SIDATelegraf Online Constanţa
- “A doua şansă” – proiect de integrare socială pentru consumatorii de droguri injectabileUltima oră
- Problematica asistenţei consumatorilor de droguri injectabile, Ultima oră
- ÎN ROMÂNIA ESTE EPIDEMIE DE HIV, Vice
- Stop the Spread of HIV in Romania, Open Society
- Seringile pentru consumatorii de droguri, finanţate de stat. Petiţii pentru continuarea programului, Stirile TV
- “We want syringes! We want methadone!” The injecting drug users take courage in the Romanian public space, Think outside the box