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3 Georgian leaders sign Vienna Declaration, strengthen call for science-based drug policy
Date:7/22/2010

22 July 2010 [Vienna, Austria] Sandra Roelofs, First Lady of Georgia; George Tsereteli, Georgia's Deputy Chairman of Parliament; and Irakli Giorgobiani, Georgia's Vice Minister of Labour, Health and Social Affairs, today signed the Vienna Declaration, the official declaration of the XVIII International AIDS conference (AIDS 2010) in Vienna, Austria.

The Vienna Declaration (www.viennadeclaration.com) is a scientific statement seeking to improve community health and safety by calling for the incorporation of scientific evidence into illicit drug policies. More than 12,580 people including Nobel laureates and leaders in science, medicine and public policy have signed the declaration since it was launched three weeks ago. The Declaration was published in the Lancet medical journal to coincide with AIDS 2010.

"Georgia supports evidence- based policy in our efforts to protect community health and safety," said Roelofs, the wife of Mikheil Saakashvili, President of Georgia. "Our signatures on the Vienna Declaration reinforce our recognition that harm reduction can provide numerous benefits and highlights the need to design policies that align with emerging science."

Georgia is moving forward with activities that are intended to ensure safer and healthier communities across the country by taking action in three priority areas: prevention, treatment and enforcement.

"The health of Georgians is paramount and therefore we are looking at many ways to improve the well-being of all of our citizens, including those facing challenges such as substance use and HIV," said Giorgobiani.

Added Tsereteli: "We believe a scientific approach to drug policy is the way forward. We will move in support of evidence-based research and policy to optimize investments in public health, improve existing policies, and adopt much more effective and relevant legislation."

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Contact: Michael Kessler
mkessler@ya.com
34-655-792-699
International AIDS Society
Source:Eurekalert

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