On the occasion of the International Day for Human Rights (December 10), “Diogenis” launched a video in which representatives of civil society from Greece and Europe, answer the question: “If you had the opportunity, what would you change at the global drug policy? “.
The video was created as part of the Regional Conference “Drug Policy after UNGASS”, organized by “Diogenes” and held in Thessaloniki, 2-4 June 2016.
The World AIDS Day is an opportunity to remember all those who lost their battle with HIV, and those who continue to fight to eliminate the disease. However, daily (2015) worldwide, 5753 people are infected by the virus. Many of them belong to the so-called “vulnerable” groups and one of them are injected drug users, mainly of opioids. In Greece, the rate of new infections due to transmission through shared syringes are in average 37% for the years 2011 to 2014 (source: KEELPNO).
The only way to reduce these numbers, that is, more people to protect themselves from a possible infection with the HIV virus, is to increase harm reduction measures through a national strategy and a national action plan. These could be two tools for proper coordination, to avoid overlapping activities in the field and better distribution and management of human and financial resources, that exist in almost all EU countries. Apart from Greece. And this is a gap, which on the occasion of the World Day for AIDS, we as civil society, need to bring to the fore, if we really care to protect vulnerable populations from the HIV virus. Read more
Meeting with the Minister of Health, Mr. Ksanthos, took place on Monday 14/11/2016, with representatives of the “Greek NGO Platform on Psychoactive Substances”. The meeting took place at the request of partner organizations, which are based on multi and interdisciplinary experience in the implementation of interventions in the field of psychoactive substances and drug policy, presented the priorities and requests to the Minister.
The positions and proposals of the Platform, to the Minister of Health, can be seen at the following link:
Yesterday, on the 10th of November 2016, the sixth annual award ceremony aiming to celebrate excellence in scientific writing on illicit drugs, hosted by the EU agency, took place in Lisbon, Portugal.
Among other scientists, Prof. Angelos Hatzakis, MD, PhD, (Professor of Epidemiology & Preventive Medicine and Director of the Department of Hygiene, Epidemiology & Medical Statistics at Athens University Medical School) was awarded this year, for one of his publications regarding the results of the ARISTOTLE program in the category “Population-based and Epidimiology Research”. The scientific article, which was distinguished over 50 other nominated papers is the following: ‘Design and baseline findings of a large-scale rapid response to an HIV outbreak in people who inject drugs in Athens, Greece: the ARISTOTLE programme’ (2015), published in Addiction, 110: 1453–1467.
This award makes us feel very proud as, on one hand it is very important for our country to have a strong and active scientific community with significant achievements in the field of drugs and policy making and on the other hand the contribution of Prof. Hatzakis, who is a great scientist and researcher supporting our organization from the position of Chairman of the Board is recognized at European level.
You can read the official Press Release from the EMCDDA Office at the follow link:
For one more year, the 4th National Meeting on “AIDS & Hepatitis” was held with great success. The scientific meeting took place from September 29th to October 1st in Athens, Greece. The aim was to provide a comprehensive approach to HIV/AIDS and viral hepatitis regarding our country, by putting special emphasis on the real challenges that health professionals, patients, public health authorities and the general public are facing. During the conference, distinguished scientists and professionals working in this field presented the most important developments in epidemiology, diagnosis, holistic prevention and treatment of those diseases.
‘DIOGENIS’ Drug Policy Dialogue, for 2nd consecutive year, was represented by the director of the organization, Mr. Apostolou Thanasis, who participated at a round table entitled “Addicts in Greece, 2016” and spoke about the “UNGASS 2016” (UN Special Session of the General Assembly on Drugs) that took place on April 2016 in New York. Aim, expectations, successes and setbacks of this Special Session, as well as the importance of this Session’s outcome and the future implications on national, European and international level were presented in detail.
You can see the presentation here.