Policy & Politics
Texas: Needle-Exchange Program Passes Senate Committee
March 4, 2009
On Tuesday by a 5-1 vote, the Senate Health and Human Services Committee approved a bill that would prevent district attorneys from prosecuting needle-exchange programs (NEPs) operated by local health departments. The measure now goes to the full Senate.
Law enforcement and health officials support the bill, saying it will help prevent the spread of disease among drug users and their families, children who find dirty needles, and others who are stuck by contaminated syringes. "My partners were stuck with needles when we were executing search warrants," retired Bexar County Constable Jimmy Wilborn told the committee on Tuesday.
According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, 100 new cases of HIV could be prevented in the first year of implementing an NEP.
03.03.2009; Jackie Stone
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.