Needle Exchange Ok’ed for D.C.

December 19, 2007 at 10:03 am 2 comments

After nine years, Congress has lifted its ban on the use of public funds for needle exchange programs in Washington, D.C.

For the past nine years Congressional Republicans successfully prohibited the District from using any of its resources to promote needle-exchange programs, regardless of their efficacy in combating the spread of diseases such as HIV/AIDS. As a consequence, the only needle-exchange program of any significance was run by the organization PreventionWorks on a shoe-string budget of private contributions, serving only a third of the city’s estimated 9,700 intravenous drug users.

Though the ban was initially lifted earlier this year by the House, the Senate reinstated it during budget deliberations. It was finally removed during the debate over the omnibus spending bill passed yesterday, which allocates money to 14 Cabinet agencies. District officials have already announced plans to put $1 million towards needle-exchange programs in 2008.

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Mad Professah  |  December 19, 2007 at 12:46 pm

    Another example of Why Elections Matter!

    Reply
  • […] Bloggernista has reported that Congress has lifted a nine-year ban on using public funding to support needle exchange programs in Washington, DC.  Despite the fact that syringe exchange programs have proven effective in reducing the spread of HIV/AIDS, this ban had held firm while the capital city has the developed the highest rate of HIV infection in the nation, a true modern epidemic noterd for its immense racial disparities. […]

    Reply

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