Commentary & Opinion
U.S. Should Provide Clean Needles to Countries With Large Numbers of HIV Cases Spread by Drug Use, Letter to Editor Says
July 9, 2007
The recent "repeal of the ban on funding" for needle-exchange programs in Washington, D.C., "brings up a bigger issue: access to clean needles for the rest of the world," Robert Heimer, adviser for Physicians for Human Rights' Health Action AIDS Campaign, writes in a Washington Post letter to the editor. 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).
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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.