April 28, 2010
The Associated Press reports that health experts participating at this week's International Harm Reduction Association conference in Liverpool are looking to Iran's methadone clinics and needle exchange programs as a possible model for other countries looking to stop HIV/AIDS transmission. "For years, Iran had a hard-line drug policy, and it still executes people for certain drug trafficking crimes. ... Experts say attitudes began to shift about a decade ago when doctors and academics managed to convince religious and governmental authorities that unless they helped drug users kick the habit, Iran would face a much bigger AIDS epidemic." The AP explores how that shift led to more methadone clinics and needle exchange programs and an eventual change in drug treatment programs (Cheng, 4/27).