amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research

amfAR Signs Vienna Declaration, Advocating for Evidence-Based Drug Policies

Declaration, initiated by several major international HIV/AIDS and drug policy organizations, unveiled one week before start of International AIDS Conference


For Immediate Release

Media Contact:
Cub Barrett, Program Communications Manager, (212) 806-1602

NEW YORK, July 9, 2010—On the eve of the XVII International AIDS Conference in Vienna, amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, on Friday announced its support for the Vienna Declaration—a statement calling for the improvement of community health and safety by incorporating scientific evidence into drug policies.

According to the declaration’s initiators—a group that includes the International AIDS Society, the International Centre for Science in Drug Policy (ICSDP), and the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS—research shows that an overreliance on drug law enforcement has resulted in overwhelmingly negative health and social consequences, yet law enforcement continues to be the dominant policy approach adopted by policymakers at the expense of more effective public health interventions.

amfAR has long been an advocate for evidence-based drug policies, having advocated since 1991 to overturn the U.S. government’s ban on federally funded syringe exchange programs (SEPs), which health experts argued—and researched showed—was hampering the domestic HIV/AIDS response. The ban was finally lifted by Congress in 2009, and amfAR continues to advocate scientific responses to health policy issues, including drug policy.

For more information, and to sign the petition, go to

About amfAR
amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, is one of the world’s leading nonprofit organizations dedicated to the support of AIDS research, HIV prevention, treatment education, and the advocacy of sound AIDS-related public policy. Since 1985, amfAR has invested more than $307 million in its programs and has awarded grants to more than 2,000 research teams worldwide.