A new report on the Drug Situation in Georgia – 2010 has been released analysing modern threats of HIV/AIDS epidemic and poor drug policy of the country. It describes the main characteristics, trends and developments of drug situation and attempts to identify drug information gaps, as well as the inadequacy of the system of responses to the drug problem in the country.
In the absence of drug strategy and the state coordination body on drug situation in the country, Georgia estimates over 40,000 injecting drug users (IDUs) without gender disaggregation. The report highlights that ‘among IDUs, HIV prevalence rates range from 1.5% to 4.5%, the prevalence of the hepatitis C virus (HCV) among HIV positive patients is as high as 48.6 %. Infections were associated with injecting drug use (88.88%) and were mainly related to the sharing of needles/syringes and other injecting medical paraphernalia.’
Other major issues highlighted in the report are:
1) Lack of a coordination mechanism in the field of drug demand and supply reduction measures;
2) Absence of institutional mechanisms for primary and secondary prevention;
3) Insufficient drug legislation and underdeveloped legislative practices;
4) One sided development of treatment methods, with little or no attention being paid to non-drug-assisted comprehensive care, including social rehabilitation;
5) Absence of institutional mechanisms for the maintenance of a drug information system that would provide sound evidence for the planning of interventions.