BERNE STALENKRANTZ of the International Harm Reduction Association of Sweden and the Swedish Drug Users Union, said that the discrimination faced by the disabled, as cited by proceeding speaker, was also being faced by intravenous drug users in Sweden. Sweden had a law forbidding pharmacies from selling syringes without a prescription. It also had a law since 2006 that allowed municipal and local health authorities to start syringe exchange programmes, but only one experimental programme had been started in the south of Sweden. In the capital, intravenous drug users obtained used syringes for as much as 10 euros that were possibly infected with HIV or Hepatitis C. In Sweden 98 per cent of intravenous drug users had acquired Hepatitis C within two years’ of drug use, and more drug users were dying of Hepatitis C than HIV/AIDS, yet that issue was largely ignored by the Government.
CHRISTINA PAULSRUD, of the International Harm Reduction Association of Sweden, said that in Sweden drug users could not get clean needles. Therefore they shared needles. Today, Swedish drug users did not have the opportunity to stay uninfected from HIV and Hepatitis C. The International Harm Reduction Association was working to provide clean needles.
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