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Brunei Darussalam

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The following is an excerpt from an ANCD report:

The link between amphetamine-type stimulant use and the transmission of HIV and other blood-borne viruses in the Southeast Asia region.

Brunei is a sovereign state with an estimated population of 400 000 (Devaney, Reid & Baldwin, 2006). It is located on the north coast of the island of Borneo and is surrounded by the state of Sarawak, Malaysia. The capital, Bandar Seri Begawan, has an estimated population of 140 000.

Amphetamine-type stimulant use

The drug of most use in Brunei Darussalam is, and has been since 2003, crystal ATS which is commonly smoked. There has been a downward trend in crystal ATS use since 2005, although in 2008 use was estimated to be stable. There are no reports of the use of ATS pills nor were there any reports of manufacturing or the dismantling of clandestine factories. The source of crystal ATS in Brunei Darussalam is thought to be the Philippines from where it is shipped to Malaysia then trafficked into Brunei (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, 2010b). The most recent assessment of ATS use in Brunei Darussalam was conducted in 2000 and estimated a population prevalence of 0.06 per cent.

No estimates of ATS use among MSM or sex workers were available.

Injecting drug use

There were no reports of injecting ATS use and no estimates of the number of people who inject drugs in Brunei Darussalam (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, 2010b).

Drug-related arrests

There were 556 drug-related arrests in 2009, 75 per cent of which were for ATS and half of which involved non-national persons. The vast majority of all those arrested were male (85%) (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, 2010b).

Drug seizures

Less than half a kilogram of crystal methamphetamine was seized during 2009 (0.32 kg). No ATS pills or powdered amphetamine seizures were reported (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, 2010b).

Drug treatment

Treatment for drug dependency in Brunei Darussalam can be sought from general health clinics and counselling is available from psychiatric institutions and non-government  organisations (Devaney, Reid & Baldwin, 2006). In 2008 the Narcotics Control Bureau took over the management of the one officially sanctioned drug treatment facility. Prior to the take-over the facility took a punitive approach to treatment. No information about how the facility is currently run was available. There were 102 drug treatment admissions during 2009, all but one for crystal methamphetamine use (one for inhalants) (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, 2010b).

HIV in the community and among injecting drug users

Eleven new cases of HIV were diagnosed in Brunei Darussalam in 2009. This was reported to bring the cumulative total of HIV cases to 56 (between 1986 to 2009) (UNAIDS, 2010b). This conflicts with information previously reported by the World Health Organization, which noted a cumulative total of 609 HIV cases, only one of which was reported to be the result of PWID. Reports also point to discrepancies in HIV and PWID data, noting previous HIV estimates from 2003 which indicated 3.8 per cent of HIV notifications were linked to PWID (Devaney, Reid & Baldwin, 2006).

HIV testing

Reports on HIV testing included 100 per cent of pregnant women and 100 per cent of blood donors. No figures for testing among high-risk groups (sex workers, MSM, PWID) were reported (UNAIDS, 2010b).

HIV treatment

The World AIDS Report (UNAIDS, 2010a) indicated 15 individuals received ART to June 2010.

Harm reduction

There are no harm reduction services (NSP, OST) available in Brunei (Mathers et al., 2010).