From: “Guide Manual on HIV and TB Testing for DUs and migrants in low-threshold service” Improving Access to HIV/TB

Testing for marginalized groups – November 2012

The difficulties of living affect everyone. However, for somebody life is so complicated to become unbearable. For these people, the use of substances can represent a solution to survive, a cure that step by step present a ‘bill’ increasingly high. So, the illusion of integration becomes marginalization accentuated by an increasing isolation.

The society of integrated people cannot believe that its rules could be valid also for those individuals who live on the fringe of society and are unable to bear the frustrations accepted by the majority. For this reason, health services targeting marginalized populations must be agile and meet the need of most vulnerable, in order to facilitate their access to services.

This strategy not only obeys an humanitarian principle, but has also a selfish component. To reach IVDU means to prevent also risk behaviours that can bring to infectious diseases easily transmittable to the general population in a epidemiological open system. However, scientific evidences sometimes are not sufficient: the stigma and discrimination toward some individuals are so high that exceed any logical reasoning, even those frankly utilitarian. In front of stigma, logic is not enough.

The emotions and malice of “Normals” prevail over the logic. Because of this, it’s important that the activists who make up the world of NGOs take the initiative to show to ‘normals’ the validity and relevance of certain theoretical assumptions. This is the topic of the present document, jointly developed by 5 NGOs under the protective and challenging umbrella of the European Commission. If HIV and HCV infections among IVDU fell down in our country and other places of the world where intelligent and aggressive harm reduction strategies have been implemented, the merit is also of civil society organizations such as the ones involved in the project IMPACT.

Working together, besides the collection of a consistent quantity of data useful to the scientific community, these 5 organizations have produced a “European added value”, result of exchanges and interrelations among workers of the involved services, thus contributing to increase the awareness of all belong to the same country: that of human race.

Dr. Massimo Barra
Villa Maraini Founder