The Reference Group to the United Nations on HIV and Injecting Drug Use was established in 2002 and provides independent advice to the United Nations system on matters related to injecting drug use and HIV. The Group consists of experts from around the world and includes researchers, clinicians and representatives from civil society organisations.
The operation of the Reference Group is coordinated by a Secretariat. The Secretariat undertakes research activities on behalf, and with guidance, input and the endorsement of the Reference Group. From March 2007, the Secretariat of the Reference Group was based at NDARC within the University of New South Wales.
The overall objective of the Reference Group is to advise relevant UNAIDS (the United Nations Joint Program on HIV/AIDS) co-sponsors, especially the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the World Health Organization (WHO), and the UNAIDS Secretariat on injecting drug use, on effective approaches to HIV prevention and care among injecting drug users. The Reference Group comprises individuals selected for their expertise in the epidemiology of injecting drug use, HIV prevention or treatment. The National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre was appointed to undertake the role of Secretariat of the Reference Group for 2007 - 2010.
- Coordination of the Reference Group
- Management of key-indicator data holdings which are used to monitor global trends in injecting drug use and HIV as well as coverage of HIV prevention and care for injecting drug users
- Provision of ad-hoc technical support to UNAIDS co-sponsor agencies
- Production of the Reference Group’s bi-annual reports (global and regional trends in the epidemiology of injecting drug use and HIV, and estimates of HIV prevention and care service coverage for injecting drug users)
- Production of thematic research papers on topics of current concern
- Management of the Reference Group website.