A pressure group that includes six former presidents called Tuesday for the United Nations to acknowledge that "repressive drug law enforcement" was driving an HIV/AIDS pandemic.
The global "war on drugs" was forcing users away from treatment and into environments where the risk of contracting HIV was high, the Global Commission on Drug Policy (GCDP) argued.
In a report published Tuesday, the panel urged the UN to "acknowledge and address the causal links between the war on drugs and the spread of HIV/AIDS and drug market violence".
It also presented evidence that aggressive law enforcement policies created barriers to HIV treatment.
"The public health implications of HIV treatment disruptions resulting from drug law enforcement tactics have not been appropriately recognized as a major impediment to efforts to control the global HIV/AIDS pandemic," it argued.
The GCDP is a panel of politicians, writers and businessmen that advocates decriminalizing drug use by those who "do no harm to others".
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