Atlantic City, Camden, N.J., Apply for Pilot Needle-Exchange Programs
May 3, 2005
Two New Jersey cities -- Atlantic City and Camden -- on Friday met a state Department of Health and Senior Services deadline to volunteer to implement needle-exchange programs to reduce the spread of HIV and other bloodborne diseases among injection drug users, the Newark Star-Ledger reports (Livio, Newark Star-Ledger, 4/30). Former New Jersey Gov. James McGreevey (D) in October 2004 signed an executive order allowing up to three cities in the state to establish needle-exchange programs. The order declares a "state of emergency" until Dec. 31, 2005, and authorizes the state health department to administer needle-exchange programs in cities that meet specific requirements (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 12/14/04). The state invited nine cities -- Atlantic City, Camden, East Orange, Elizabeth, Irvington, Jersey City, Newark, Paterson and Trenton -- to apply for programs. However, only Atlantic City and Camden -- both of which last year adopted ordinances creating needle-exchange programs -- volunteered to implement state-run programs, state Health Department spokesperson Donna Leusner said on Friday. Camden has proposed operating a mobile needle-exchange program with a not-for-profit group, and Atlantic City has proposed operating mobile and stationary locations with a not-for-profit group, according to the Star-Ledger. If state health officials approve the two cities' applications by the May 6 deadline, the programs could begin operating by early summer, according to local officials. One of every 40 Atlantic City residents is HIV-positive and 50% of all new cases in the city are attributable to injection drug use or sexual intercourse with injection drug users. There are 1,340 HIV-positive residents of Camden, according to Anthony Lingo, manager of special grant projects for the city's Department of Health & Human Services (Newark Star-Ledger, 4/30).
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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.