Based in Brisbane, Australia. Ruth Birgin has worked as a harm reduction specialist for over twenty years throughout Australia, Asia and, more recently, Eastern Africa. She has a working knowledge of the relevant UN organisations and INGOs involved in HIV/AIDS and harm reduction activity, as well as the issues faced by injecting drug users at community level in different parts of Asia and Eastern Africa. She is proficient in Bahasa Indonesia.
As a long-term technical adviser for the Centre for Harm Reduction on the AusAID-funded HIV/AIDS Regional Project, Ruth provided technical assistance to this complex project in southern China and other parts of the Asia/Pacific region. She has also worked as a project manager and has written and delivered training and Technical Assistance (TA) materials for a wide range of audiences.
Ruth worked for the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office in New Delhi, and developed the WHO Bi-Regional Strategy for Harm Reduction (2005-2009). Ruth has in-depth technical knowledge and her expertise cuts across community, clinical and research sectors.
Ruth is the founder of the Women and Harm Reduction International Network and is an active member of the International Network of Women who Use Drugs.