Moldova: expands harm reduction services to all prisons

Alexander Godin moves through a number of locked doors escorted by a guard to prison 16’s pharmacy. This is part of his daily routine. He comes to get his medicine – a syrup-like dose of methadone. Since 2000, a few prisons in Moldova offered such harm reduction services. Now all do.

Any new prisoner to the country’s 17 penitentiaries sees a psychiatrist, a doctor and if needed is offered to join a treatment programme. Comprehensive harm reduction services not only include drug dependence treatment but also needle syringe exchange and HIV testing and treatment. HIV prevalence is 11% among people who inject drugs in Moldova vs 0.36% among the general population.