Jamra primary scholl for children affected by HIV/AIDS, drugs or poverty, Senegal (c) Nell Freeman/Alliance Participants in the Photovioce project, Ecuador © Marcela Nievas for the Alliance
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Supporting women who use drugs and their children


© Ry Pov / Alliance / Photovoice

Women who inject drugs are particularly vulnerable to HIV.

Studies in nine European countries show that the average HIV prevalence among women who inject is 50% higher than among men who inject. Studies in China and Kenya also demonstrate higher HIV prevalence amongst women who inject.

Despite this vulnerability, there is a distinct lack of ‘women-friendly’ services in many countries.

Most services for people who use drugs are directed towards the needs of men. This can mean that women feel like outsiders and that their needs are not met. For example, many drugs services do not offer pregnancy or maternal health services or programmes for women with children.

Alliance harm reduction programmes aim to change this. You can read how two programmes are meeting the complex needs of women who inject drugs who are also mothers by following the links below.


Read how the SUNRISE programme is taking an innovative approach to ensure that women who use drugs like Galina are properly supported. Galina receives harm reduction services, including methadone treatment and her son, who is disabled, receives social services and care. Read more >>


Chanura Kol is one of the few projects in the India which is specifically targeted at women who inject drugs, women like Babina. Babina is a mother of two who is also a sex worker. With help from the project she hopes to stop using drugs and to support herself and her children by setting up a small business. Read her story >>