7. RESPONSES TO HEALTH CORRELATES AND CONSEQUENCES
7.1. Prevention of Drug-Related Deaths
The percentage of drug related deaths in Turkey is too low to compare with many European countries. The most important factor of this is known to be the negative attitude towards drug use in Turkish culture and family characteristics. Drug use is considered as an unacceptable fact by the community as well as it is a legal crime. Although net statistical data on the current drug-related de-aths are not available for the year 2005, it can be stated that the rate of heroin-related deaths is hig-her.
Specialized drug treatment centers which have detoxification units as well as emergency de-partments of general hospitals provide acute and continuous treatment facilities for prevention of drug related deaths. There is first aid training in schools and in various courses such as driving co-urses.
7.2. Prevention and Treatment of Drug-Related Infectious Diseases
The first HIV/AIDS case in Turkey was reported in 1985. When 2254 HIV/AIDS reported ca-ses are examined according to the data in December 2005, Turkey falls under the category of low prevalence countries according to the classification of the United Nations.
The Ministry of Health was not late to take measures against HIV/AIDS, which was quite new to Turkey like many other countries of the world and about which is barely known. Following the first case in 1985, the Ministry of Health included HIV/AIDS in the notifiable diseases list with a circula-tion published. From then on, notifications have been made by means of D86 forms specific to HIV/AIDS.
Another important step taken in the combat against HIV/AIDS and other STIs(sexually transmit-ted infections), was that another circulation published by the Ministry of Health entered into force in 1986 stipulating that all blood samples and blood products are to be screened for HIV. In 1987, it was seen that serological tests were applied to blood/organ/tissue donors, to women at whorehouses and prior to major surgeries. HIV tests, which are to be applied in parallel with consultancy services befo-re and after the tests, are carried out in many primary health organizations and state hospitals.
HIV confirmation centres, the number of which is still nine, were opened in the year 1987. The mentioned confirmation centres are in Ankara, Istanbul and Izmir.
Hepatitis B has been under the category of notifiable diseases since the year 19903. Advisory Committee on Immunization, founded in 1996, recommended that hepatitis B vaccine should be inc-luded in routine vaccination programmes for child. The Committee also recommended that health personnel and high risk groups should be regularly vaccinated.
HIV/AIDS notifications have been in a coded form since 1994. Moreover, no information is disclosed to the third parties and the press about the disease without the consent of the patient.
Since 1995, HIV/AIDS patients have equal rights with other patients. Every HIV/AIDS patient can reach to diagnosis and treatment services throughout the country regardless of the health insu-rance of the patient.
Sexually transmitted infections such gonorrhoea and chlamydia, which did not use to be un-der the category of notifiable disease, have been notified since 2005.
Intersectoral cooperation on HIV/AIDS/STI notification system is a fact with an undeniable sig-nificance. In line with this fact, having 32 national shareholders from public authorities, academies and Non-Governmental Organizations and chaired by the Ministry of Health, National AIDS Com-mission (UAK) was established in 1996.
rurkey is involved in the European STI notification system network (ESSTI) and HIV notifica-tion system (EuroHIV) projects.
Another project being conducted by the Ministry of Health in the field of HIV and other impor-tant sexually transmitted infections is "STI/HIV Operational Project". The mentioned project is inclu-ded in Reproductive Health Programme in Turkey initiated in 2003 as a result of the cooperation bet-ween the Ministry of Health and the European Commission. The project was initiated in Ankara, Is-tanbul, Izmir, Trabzon and Izmir having such aims as identifying the current STI/HIV epidemiology and STI/HIV prevalence in pregnant women, who come to gynaecology and birth clinics in selected hospitals in major cities, and in vulnerable groups under the risk of HIV within the society, and de-termining relevant demographical and behavioural patterns. The project is expected to end in April 2007.
Within the framework of "HIV/AIDS Prevention and Support Programme of Turkey" that is planned to end in July 2007, it is aimed to organize activities raising HIV/AIDS awareness of intra-venous drug users in Ankara, Istanbul, Izmir and Gaziantep, to carry out surveys measuring beha-vioural changes, to provide training to the workers in the field and to hang visual materials.
Moreover, it is aimed to carry out trainings on the fields of intravenous drugs and HIV/AIDS with Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) of UNODC, to which the Ministry of Health is party, and with a project covering southeast European countries. It is planned to provide trainings to representatives of the relevant authorities in 2007 within the framework of the activity plan to be determined in accordance with the needs of the country.
7.3. Measures on Drug-Related Psychiatric Problems
Substance abuse treatment centers follow their own way of evaluation of the patients. Treat-ment methods are held according to individual needs of patients. Antidepressant medication is usu-ally used, and antipsychotics are used as well according to the type of comorbidity.
7.4. Measures on Other Health Problems
Dealing with somatic comorbidity, drug-related emergencies and general health-related treat-ment is a responsibility for all physicians. These services are usually given with consultation with psychiatrists. Reverse is also true.