Taiwan Offers Addicts Greater Needle Access to Reduce HIV Transmission
August 15, 2006
Following on the heels of a successful harm reduction trial project, health authorities in Taiwan said Monday they are considering offering free syringes for drug users in thousands of convenience stores across the island. The initial effort focused on four counties, offering counseling to HIV patients and free needles to drug users at 427 sites. According to Taiwan's Center for Disease Control, one participating county logged 39 new HIV cases in January through July, down from 78 in the same period last year. "This shows the offering of needles has helped bring down the number of new HIV carriers," said Shih Wen-yi, the health agency's deputy director. Shih called it "an approach of lesser evils" and said it does not indicate government approval of illegal drug use.
Agence France Presse
This article was provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update. Visit the CDC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.