women who use drugs

National Baseline Study on the Magnitude of Drug Use among Women, Lived Realities, Challenges Faced and Mapping CSOS That Work With Women Who Use Drugs In Uganda

Women who use drugs (WWUDs), are a growing population in Uganda. These face double stigma
and its worse if they are also living with HIV/AIDS. Most of them engage in sex work and this makes
it more complicated in terms of access to health services and adherence if they are living with HIV
and enrolled on ART. In Uganda, dominant political and social discourses dehumanise people who
use drugs and in particular, women who use drugs and sex workers leading to stigma, violence and
reduced access to SRH/HIV services and elevated risk of acquiring HIV. People living with HIV
(PLHIV) across PWUD/WWUDs and sex workers who use drugs experience additional layer of
stigma and discrimination and struggle to access Sexual Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) and HIV
prevention, treatment and care services. The criminalisation of behaviours, identities and occupations is proven to be counter effective and hinders access to SRH and HIV services. High levels of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) among /WWUDs further heightens vulnerability to HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

Although there is progress with harm reduction programming in Uganda, there are no targeted
programmes for women who use drugs (WWUDs), with criminalization of drug use, and limited
legal and policy provisions to support harm reduction programmes, Women with a Mission aims at
contributing to a world where Women Who Use drugs targeted programs that empower them to
make well-informed decisions without being criminalised, stigmatized or discriminated against.

This study assessed the magnitude of drug use among women, lived realities, challenges faced and
mapping CSOs that work with women who use drugs in Uganda.

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