Association of People Living with HIV [APLHIV]-Pakistan is a nationwide network of people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS and associated Key Populations (KPs), which was founded in 2006. The APLHIV was formally registered in 2008, with its Federal Secretariat located at Islamabad. This was in response to the absence of an appropriate voice to address the rights and issues of marginalized people, provide a quality life to infected, affected people and KPs, to ensure the dignity of their lives and provide them with a vibrant platform to speak in unison without any discrimination of gender, age, colour, creed or religion.

One of the objectives of the APLHIV encompasses to provide a vibrant platform to marginalized communities to raise their issues in unison, unify their efforts to ensure an effective and right based HIV response and to facilitate their access to prevention, treatment, care and support services, drug user community being no exception to this. The APLHIV support the principle of meaningful involvement of affected communities in addressing their issues.

Need Of Drug User’s Network [DUNE]

The HIV epidemic in Pakistan has moved from low prevalence to “concentrated epidemic”, which has resulted in a steady increase in the number of people newly infected with HIV. Injection with contaminated needles and syringes among the community of people who use drugs, mainly people who inject drugs,( PWIDs) is main driving force of HIV infection/transmission in Pakistan as is the case in many other Asian countries. Over 27.2% of HIV prevalence was found among PWID in 2011 IBBS. At sub-national level HIV prevalence in this population is as high as 52% in Faisalabad. The drug user community is facing double stigma, one of being a drug user and 2nd due to HIV status, thus this segment of our society is considered to be the most marginalized and stigmatized. This illustrates a need to take our Drug User community on board around the table while making policies and decisions affecting their lives. The situation also necessitates enabling the drug user community to advocate for their rights and health.

Today a more focused effort is required to address the issues of our drug user community and it becomes more needed in the absence of any platform for them to share their issues, experiences, knowledge and a way forward. A platform which can focus on to their rights, needs, issues, exchange information/knowledge/experiences, barriers to access treatment, care and support facilities, to unify their voices, advocacy by them and to empower them is dire need of the time. Keeping the need in

view, the APLHIV took an initiative to launch “Drug User’s Network” [DUNE] with support of all the public and private sector’s and donor agencies [INPUD & Mainline]. The APLHIV extends a word of thanks to UNAIDS, other UN partners, NACP and Nai Zindagi to successfully launch the DUNE.


Mobilize community leadership to influence policies, laws, programs and funds, to promote actions that empower the community of people who use drugs and ensure their meaningful involvement to make a positive change for themselves.


The DUNE envisions a platform/mechanism where the Drug Users exercise their rights for healthy, dignified and respectful lives, and are leaders in addressing their issues tailored to their needs and rights, free of stigma, discrimination and violence through advocacy.


Capacitate and foster the engagement of people who use drugs to influence policy and decision-making processes which affect their lives, whilst promoting and upholding their rights and providing them a platform to speak in unison for their rights and health.


1. Members of the Drug User Community are mobilized to speak in unison across the country about their issues including health and rights and seek a way forward.

2. To capacitate the Drug User community to enable them to become Advocates for their rights

3. Empower the Drug User Community to enable them to contribute effectively in policy and decision making processes.

Structure of the DUNE

The DUNE will be a platform for all the Drug Users from across the country, which will work under the APLHIV as an integral part. The DUNE will work under the umbrella of APLHIV. Necessary amendments and review of existing policies and by laws shall be carried out accordingly. The APLHIV shall be responsible for capacitating the DUNE to meet the mission, vision and goals. The organizations/donors working with and for the community of people who use drugs shall be requested for financial and technical support to sustain this group till accomplishment of its mission and goals. A full time

Coordinator shall be hired to coordinate the activities. All possible efforts will be made in true spirit and litter to select the Coordinator from within Drug User Community ensuring the merit and criteria.

Steering Committee

Initially the DUNE will be represented by 10 members from across the country based on following criteria: –

1. Majority of the Working Group will consist of Current/Active Drug Users, however the representation of former Drug users will also be ensured to benefit from their experience and knowledge. The Working Group will be lead by Active Drug User.

2. Registered members of the APLHIV or other organizations working for Drug Users and HIV in Pakistan.

3. Must be capable to communicate effectively on issues related to the community.

4. Four (4) members from Punjab, Three (3) members from Sindh, One (1) member each from KPK, Balochistan and Islamabad (including Kashmir and Gilgit- Baltistan Region) shall be selected.

5. Efforts will be made to include Female Drug Users in the working group. Minimum one Female member is must.

Code of Conduct

The DUNE is expected to abide by following code of conduct for efficient working: –

1. Seek inputs from the people whom the DUNE/Steering Committee represents.

2. Report back to the community on progress made in achieving the goals and objectives (or implementation of the activities in the work plan).

3. To ensure a conduct that can project positive image of the community.

4. Participatory and inclusiveness in provision of proposal and feedback.

5. Sense of responsibility and accountability.

6. Work within the fold and as per policies of the APLHIV.

7. Act as a bridge between the APLHIV and the community of people who use drugs.

Role & Responsibilities Of The APLHIV

The proposed Drug User Network [DUNE] shall be housed within the premises of the Federal Secretariat of the APLHIV. A Post of Drug User Coordinator/Officer shall be created and sustained. The Coordinator will work under the supervision of the National Coordinator of the APLHIV and will be responsible for his/her duties to the National Coordinator. Separate records will be kept updated by the National Coordinator in this regard. The APLHIV shall be responsible for capacity building,

sustainability and promotion of positive image of the community. The APLHIV shall also ensure inclusiveness and participation of DUNE at all policy and decision making levels.