Clean Needles In High HIV Countries Spread By Drug Use

Armen Hareyan's picture
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The recent "repealof the ban on funding" for needle-exchange programs in Washington,D.C., "brings up a bigger issue: access to clean needles for the restof the world," Robert Heimer, adviser for Physicians for Human Rights' Health Action AIDS Campaign, writes in a Washington Postletter to the editor.

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According to Heimer, a "federal ban prohibits"the U.S. from "supplying clean needles, even to countries with huge HIV/AIDS epidemics caused by needle sharing among" injection drug users.

The President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief should "embrace a science-based approach to preventing" the spread of HIV -- including "clean needles, methadone therapy, outreach and education -- if it is to help Asian and Eastern European countries stop this crippling epidemic," Heimer concludes (Heimer, Washington Post, 7/6).

Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Weekly Health Disparities Report, search the archives. The Kaiser Weekly Health Disparities Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. 2007 Advisory Board Company and Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.

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