The Resistance to Russia’s War on Harm Reduction

The Russian government has doubled down on its hard-line approach to the drug use fueling HIV in the country, rejecting harm reduction efforts embraced by other countries.
It is “part of President Vladimir Putin’s broader posture of defiance against more liberal Western values at the expense of public health,” says Anya Sarang, director of the Moscow-based Andrey Rylkov Foundation—which serves as a case study in resistance.
Despite intense government scrutiny, the NGO has pushed ahead—delivering harm reduction services like Naloxone and clean needles while building local support for more humane policies.

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