Thursday, 10 September 2009

HIV - ENCAP Manual for Harm Reduction

I have received the Manual for Harm Reduction Service Providers from the ENCAP (Expanding Network for Comprehensive and Coordinated Action on HIV/AIDS prevention among Interactive Drug Users and Bridging Population) project. Well maybe not really a manual it’s quite an extensive introduction to the work on Harm Reduction. The book goes through the pros and cons of harm reduction as well as the various methods and also the problems the people working with harm reduction faces including stress management and how to work with media, municipalities and the police.

It’s quite easy to read but aim at covering too much well at least the focus is in some parts on the wrong areas. I think that chapter 2 could be lost and I would also have liked to see a little less focus and details on the media part especially since better checklist already are quite ready available in various PR guides. Instead maybe a bit of more work on how to work with local municipalities and police could have gone into the material – quite difficult areas but I would assume key factors to reach long time success.

In the methods of harm reduction it always comes down to the basic education, condom distribution, testing and counselling in various phases and of cause the more controversial issue of syringe and needle exchange. So also here. Not very new but it do highlight the issue of female condoms as well – an underused possibility of ensuring that women can be better protected.

All in all I think the book is well worth to read for the professionals in the field. You should be able to get it from the project via

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