Needle-exchange programs help fight AIDS

According to the New York Times News Service:

A federal panel has reviewed 37 needle-exchange programs in the U.S., Canada, and Europe. The panel has concluded that:

* the government should fund a major expansion of such programs to curb AIDS;

* such programs have NOT resulted in any measurable increase in drug abuse in neighborhoods where they have been tried.

"Our research confirms what should have been obvious all along," said Dr. Peter Lurie (University of California, San Francisco) who helped lead the researchers. He said that hundreds of millions of clean ceedles would need to be distributed in order to be effective.

The Key recalls that political opposition from conservative politicians has stalled the implementation of needle exchange programs in the United States during the last decade. Some needle-exchange programs in America had to be carried out in defiance of laws. People in other countries may well wonder why a country like the U.S. which is proud if its democracy has laws which virtually assures the worsening of a pandemic such as AIDS.

The Key, Austin, Texas [1 October 1993]

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