Needle-Exchange Pilot Programs Launch in New Jersey
January 2, 2008
The Philadelphia Inquirer last week examined the launch of pilot needle-exchange programs in New Jersey that aim to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS among injection drug users. The pilot program has been in effect in Atlantic City since Nov. 27. A program in Camden is scheduled to launch this month, and programs in Newark and Paterson will start this winter, Roseanne Scotti, director of the Drug Policy Alliance of New Jersey, said (Urgo, Philadelphia Inquirer, 12/24/07).
According to the Inquirer, New Jersey is the last state to implement needle-exchange programs. Supporters of the pilot programs note that about 45% of New Jersey's new reported HIV cases involve infection due to injection drug use using contaminated needles. Some opponents of the programs have said needle exchanges appear to condone or promote injection drug use, the Inquirer reports.
The Atlantic City program is administered by Health and Human Services for Atlantic City and operates out of the South Jersey AIDS Alliance's Oasis Center. Georgett Watson, program director of the alliance, said that in the first few weeks the program provided 90 clients with 11 clean needles for every used needle clients returned. Two of the clients who came in to exchange needles have entered treatment programs, Watson said (Philadelphia Inquirer, 12/24/07).
New Jersey Appellate Court Upholds Lower Court Decision Disallowing Needle-Exchange Program in Atlantic City
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.