Perceptions of substances, public policies and users in France

Since 1999, the French Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (OFDT) has been quantifying the opinions and perceptions of the French population on drugs and related public policies through the EROPP survey (Survey on representations, opinions and perceptions regarding psychoactive drugs). For this fifth edition, a sample of 2.001 individuals, representing the French population aged 18 to 75, was selected based on quota sampling. The survey makes it possible to see how opinions are structured around issues in the public debate but also to consider how opinions in France have developed over the last twenty years. For continuity, most of the themes studied in previous surveys have been kept (for example, the perceived dangerousness of different psychoactive substances, the representation of heroin users and opinions on drug legislation). In addition, questions on current topics and new issues have been added.

In 2018, the EROPP survey, now translated into Englosh, focused on five psychoactive substances: tobacco, alcohol, cannabis, cocaine and heroin. Tendances No. 131 first discusses drug-related knowledge and how dangerous they are perceived to be. Secondly, it reports on individuals’ adherence to public policies that are currently in force or being discussed in France or in other countries. Finally, a final section summarises cannabis users’ opinions through a classification that groups together individuals with similar views. Where possible, the results are compared with those from previous surveys.

To read the survey follow this link>>>

European Hepatitis C Community Summit

The 3rd European Hepatitis C Community Summit was held in Marseille, on 25 and 26 November 2019. The aim of the Summit was to bring together researcher, health and community workers, medical staff and HCV patients and advocates to discuss elimination of the disease and role of harm reduction and community services. The event was organised by Correlation – European Harm Reduction Network, in cooperation with the European Union funded Eurosider project.

The programme contained plenary and parallel sessions and focused on priorities for community involvement and advocacy targets for after the event.

A variety of examples of good practice was presented during parallel sessions on: Models of good practice, HCV in prison, Peer Involvement works – we just need to implement it, Capacity building, Access to services, ODBuster – Digitally Networking the Response to Opioid Overdose Emergencies, HCV prevention for (un) documented migrants and Building Capacity to support People who use drugs. Probably the most interesting one was on HCV in prison.

Several representatives of DPNSEE member organisations participated, including Aksion Plus, Margina, Proi, Prometheus, Juventas, HOPS, Positive Voice, ARAS and Alliance of Non Governmental Organisations for Drugs and Addictions in Slovenia. The DPNSEE Board member Marios Atzemis was member of the planning team of the Summit.

The French Embassy in Belgrade provided support for two representatives from Serbia. One was from the Institute for Public Health while the second was DPNSEE Executive Director Milutin Milošević.

At the Summit, a statement about the negative effects of criminalisation on health and well being of people who use drugs entitled The decriminalisation of drug use and ensuring national funding of key services will reduce death, disease and marginalisation of people who use drugs was launched – without any opportunity to discuss it.

US Senate plans increasing the contribution to the Global Fund by 15.6%

One month before the Replenishment Conference to be hosted in Lyon, France, good news came from the US.  Their Senate plans increasing the contribution of this single largest donor of the Global Fund by 15.6%! This is the first increase in six years and the third largest increase since the Global Fund was founded. The Senate included language affirming it anticipates funding at this level through the Global Fund’s 6th Replenishment cycle.

Excerpts from the media release of the Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria

Today the Senate Appropriations Committee posted the State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs fiscal year 2020 funding bill, increasing funding for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund) to $1.56 billion in fiscal year 2020, a 15.6 percent increase from the previous year. The bill is expected to be considered by the full Senate.

The report accompanying the appropriations bill also specified that the Senate Committee anticipates maintaining this appropriation level in fiscal years 2021 and 2022, coinciding with the Global Fund’s Sixth Replenishment cycle:

“The Committee recommends $1,560,000,000 for a U.S. contribution to the Global Fund. In advance of the Global Fund Replenishment Conference in 2019, the Committee anticipates that the United States will pledge not less than this amount for each of the three fiscal years pertaining to the Global Fund’s Sixth Replenishment. The Committee does not support the administration’s proposal to amend the longstanding matching rates for U.S. contributions to the Global Fund and expects the United States to continue to match other donor contributions at a rate of $1 for every $2 received from other donors.”

A $1.56 billion annual appropriation would translate to a $4.68 billion U.S. contribution over the three-year Replenishment cycle, helping the Global Fund meet its goal of at least $14 billion.

Congress has firmly rejected the President’s proposed cuts and affirmed America’s support for the Global Fund and dedication to ending the world’s deadliest infectious diseases.

Over the summer, several countries announced their pledges for the next three years – Germany, Switzerland, Canada, the European Union, Italy, Japan, UK, South Korea, even India. All will increase their contributions. The European countries (and the EU together with the individual countries are the largest contributor to the Global Fund!) in average increase by 15%.

Global Fund Replenishment Conference FAQ

The Global Fund Replenishment Conference that takes place every 3 years. The aim of the conference is to raise funds and mobilize partners in the fight to end AIDS, TB and malaria.

The sixth Replenishment conference will take place on October 10 in Lyon, France at Palais des congrès de Lyon. This is the first time France (the second largest donor to the Fund) is playing host.

The target for the Sixth Replenishment Conference is to collect 14 billion USD over the next 3 years. This is an ambitious target, but the funds would save 16 million lives and prevent 234 million new infections between 2021 and 2023.

If you want to know more, read the FAQ webpage created by RED following this link>>>.

Initiative 5%

France is the first European donor to the Global Fund Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria with annual contribution of 360 million Euro. The 7% Initiative AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria is the second means whereby France contributes to the Global Fund. The purpose of the 7% Initiative is to respond to requests for high-level technical expertise from GF grant recipient countries, including French-speaking countries, in order to support and build their capacity for design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation and impact measurement relating to GF grants. Eligible SEE countries for this support include Albania, Bulgaria, Kosovo*, Montenegro, Romania and Serbia.

More about the Initiative is available from the web page following this link.

The French Embassy in Belgrade organised a presentation of the Initiative to the representatives on civil society organisations from Serbia working on the issue of AIDS. The presentation was held on 5 March 2018 in the French Cultural Centre.

Christelle Boulanger, Director of the Department for Pandemics at the Initiative and Bertrand Millet, Attaché de cooperation at the Institut français de Serbie presented the Initiative, answered various questions and gave good advice on preparing a project proposal.

As the deadline is 23 March 2018, interested organisations have to be quick in designing the Concept note of the project!