"In France, as elsewhere, people who inject drugs (PWID) faced a dramatic HIV epidemic in the 1990s. In response, the French government’s harm reduction policy, which first developed programmes for access to sterile injection material in 1987, extended access in 1994 to include syringe vending machines and the sale of ready-to-use injection kits (Steribox) in community pharmacies,1 as well as new state-funded needle exchange programmes (NEP).2 These public health initiatives were concomitant with opiate maintenance treatment (OMT) programmes with methadone (available since 1994) and buprenorphine (available since 1995)3 4 and HAART for HIV-infected individuals.5 HIV prevalence in PWID dramatically decreased from 40% to 20% in 14 years from 1988 to 2002,2 6 with a prevalence in 2011 of 10%.7 An estimated 77% to 85% of opioid-dependent individuals in France are currently treated with OMT."


Auriacombe M, Roux P, Briand Madrid L, et al. Impact of drug consumption rooms on risk practices and access to care in people who inject drugs in France: the COSINUS prospective cohort study protocol. BMJ Open 2019;9:e023683. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2018-023683.