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Commentary & Opinion

Bush Administration Should Recognize Value of Needle-Exchange Programs to Reduce HIV Spread, Letter to Editor Says

March 14, 2005

Observers need "[l]ook no farther than the president's backyard for proof" of the "devastati[on]" caused by the Bush administration's efforts to "undermine" needle exchange as part of its international HIV prevention strategy, Patsy Fleming, vice president of the board of directors for the Washington, D.C.-based not-for-profit group Prevention Works, writes in a Washington Post letter to the editor. Although "almost every scientific standard" has shown that needle-exchange programs are effective at reducing the risk of HIV infection without increasing illegal drug use, Congress prohibits taxpayer funds in Washington, D.C. -- which has the largest per capita rate of new AIDS diagnoses nationwide -- from being used for needle-exchange programs in the district, according to Fleming, who was director of national AIDS policy from 1993 to 1997. As a result, needle-exchange advocacy groups in the district "must raise every cent" from private donors and foundations, which "distracts from lifesaving work," Fleming says. "We applaud efforts to ensure that sound science prevails over partisan politics in the broader global fight against AIDS and ... encourage Congress and the president to understand the effect of their shortsightedness on lives in the nation's capital," Fleming concludes (Fleming, Washington Post, 3/11).

Back to other news for March 14, 2005


Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, search the archives, or sign up for email delivery at www.kaisernetwork.org/dailyreports/hiv. The Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of the Kaiser Family Foundation, by The Advisory Board Company. © 2004 by The Advisory Board Company and Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.



  
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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.
 
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