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Policy & Politics

Holyoke, Mass., Mayor Endorses State Bill Decriminalizing Sale of Hypodermic Needles Without Doctor's Prescription

December 5, 2003

Holyoke, Mass., Mayor Michael Sullivan on Monday said that he supports a bill (H 1087) pending in the state Legislature that would decriminalize the sale of hypodermic needles without a doctor's prescription, the Springfield Republican reports. Sullivan said that selling needles without a prescription would be a more effective method of stopping the spread of HIV than existing needle-exchange programs. "Admittedly, only 25% of the people who could use needle-exchange programs use them," Sullivan said, adding, "They don't feel like going into a program, getting a card, listening to a talk. If the person just wants a clean needle and won't listen to that, let's give them a clean needle." Holyoke has 259 recorded AIDS cases, many of which are among injection drug users, Sullivan said. He said that the relatively large number of HIV/AIDS cases in Holyoke can be attributed to "concentrations of poverty" and the city's many social programs, according to the Republican. "People who become IV-drug-addicted tend to gravitate to cities with more service and more affordable lifestyles," Sullivan said. Boston Mayor Thomas Menino (D) has also endorsed the legislation legalizing needle sales without a prescription (Appleton, Springfield Republican, 12/3).

Back to other news for December 5, 2003


Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, search the archives, or sign up for email delivery at www.kaisernetwork.org/dailyreports/hiv. The Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of the Kaiser Family Foundation, by The Advisory Board Company. © 2003 by The Advisory Board Company and Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.



  
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This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.
 
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