Getting global funds to those most in need: the Thai Drug Users' Network

Health Hum Rights. 2005;8(2):170-86.


The Thai Drug Users' Network (TDN) formed in 2002 in response to the deplorable health and human rights conditions facing illicit drug users in Thailand. In 2003, TDN submitted a proposal for funding to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria (GFATM). The proposal appeared destined to fail as it did not have the support of the Thai government and because the interventions proposed were highly incongruent with national policies. In the midst of an ongoing drug war, TDN took action to increase awareness of the harms of the drug war, the shortcomings in GFATM policies, and the need for peer-driven interventions. This article describes the circumstances surrounding this instance of successful drug-user organizing in order to identify the lessons that can be learned.

MeSH terms

  • Financing, Organized / organization & administration*
  • Health Policy
  • Health Services Accessibility / organization & administration
  • Human Rights*
  • Humans
  • Organizations / economics
  • Organizations / organization & administration*
  • Substance-Related Disorders*
  • Thailand