HIV Expert Urges Creation of Needle Exchange in Canada's Prisons
October 25, 2011
Prison-based needle-exchange programs (NEPs) could help reduce the high rate of HIV and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections among Canada's prisoners, a senior analyst testified during an Oct. 20 House of Commons standing committee meeting. The level of HIV among Canadian prisoners is at least 10 times greater than in the general population, and the HCV rate is at least 20 times greater, the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network reported last year.
However, Tory MP Candice Hoeppner countered that the proposal for prison-based NEPs "completely ignored" the safety of prison staff and would help "inmates who are addicted to drugs access more drugs and access paraphernalia to administer those drugs against the safety of officers." "How can you practically say, and try to make us believe, that needles would not be used as weapons against officers?" she asked.
10.21.2011; Douglas Quan
This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
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