The Australian Injecting and Illicit Drug Users League (AIVL) is the Australian national peak organisation representing the state and territory peer-based drug user organisations and issues of national relevance for people with lived experience of drug use.


AIVL’s purpose is to advance the health and human rights of people who use/have used illicit drugs. This includes a primary focus on reducing the transmission and impact of blood borne viruses (BBVs) including HIV and hepatitis C, and those accessing drug treatment services, through the effective implementation of peer education, harm reduction, health promotion and policy and advocacy strategies at the national level.


Our primary aim is to promote the health and human rights of people who use or have used illicit drugs. The organisation believes people who use/have used illicit drugs should:

  • have autonomy over their own bodies
  • be treated with dignity and respect
  • be able to live their lives free from stigma, discrimination and health and human rights violations.


AIVL was formed in the late 1980s/early 1990s in response to an identified need from the state/territory peer-based drug user organisations to have a national ‘voice’ for people who use illicit drugs, and in particular in relation to people who inject drugs.

At the time, the Federal Government was formulating Australia’s first national response to HIV/AIDS and as drug users we were fighting for the establishment of Needle & Syringe Programs (NSPs) and advocating for the idea that drug users could effectively educate each other about HIV prevention and other issues and run their own organisations. This is the context in which AIVL as a national organisation representing people who use/have used illicit drugs came into existence.

AIVL became a formal incorporated, legal entity in 1992 which marked the development of both AIVL as the national body and a national network of organisations that over the ensuing decades has gone on to be highly regarded for our resilience in the face of extreme political and moral challenges, the quality of our work and, importantly, the strength of our stance and representation on issues for people who inject and use illicit drugs both within and outside of Australia.