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Urge President Obama to Lift the Ban on Federal Funding for Syringe Exchange Programs

October 2, 2009

This summer, the House of Representatives took a historic step by removing the ban on federal funding for needle and syringe exchange programs (SEPs).

Public health advocates, law enforcement agencies, mayors and service providers applauded this step to stand up for evidence-based public health practices.

But the Senate has not taken any action and the fate of syringe exchange will be decided in conference later this month.

Senators need to hear from President Obama that his Administration supports syringe exchange. Now is the time to urge President Obama to fulfill his campaign promise to end the ban on federal funding of syringe exchange.

Take Action:

1) Make a quick call right now:

Call the White House Comment Line TODAY AND MONDAY at (202) 456-1414 or (202) 456-1111.

The Message:

  • Syringe exchange programs save lives -- conclusive research has proven they reduce the spread of HIV without increasing drug use.
  • Now is the time for the President to make good on his promise to support lifting the ban on federal funding for syringe exchange. We are calling on President Obama to let key congressional members know that the White House supports Chairman Obey in fully revoking the ban on federal funding for syringe exchange.

2) Share this alert with others

We need calls today and early next week -- What opportunities will you have to help more calls get to the White House?

You can forward this alert, or even better walk it around to your co-workers, family, neighbors or program participants. Pass a phone around the lunchroom, staff meeting or support group. Let us know of other successful mobilization ideas to get more calls to the President!

Background:

Since 1988, the U.S. government has prevented local and state public health authorities from using federal funds for SEPs, which studies have shown to be effective in reducing HIV and hepatitis infection rates among injection drug users and their sexual partners, promoting public health and safety by taking syringes off the streets, and protecting law enforcement personnel from injuries. Syringe exchange programs also provide critical health care services including HIV testing, counseling, education, and referral to drug addiction treatment centers.

President Obama's leadership is key to moving this issue forward in the House-Senate conference. His support will help save the lives of thousands of Americans, reduce health care costs, and serve as a model for other countries that look to the United States for leadership in fighting the AIDS epidemic.



  
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This article was provided by Community HIV/AIDS Mobilization Project.
 
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