Mass. Group Donates Safety Tools to Prevent HIV Infection from Needle Sticks
To protect Fitchburg, Mass., public safety workers from HIV infection, the North Worcester County AIDS Consortium and the Gardner Visiting Nursing Association on Wednesday donated 24 Ampel Probe search and retrieval tools to the police and fire departments, the Worcester Telegram and Gazette reports. The 10-inch, plastic tools resembling needle-nose pliers will be used to pick up discarded hypodermic needles or to check the pockets of suspected drug users to avoid accidental skin pricks. "To me, right now [the tools are] as important as a bulletproof vest," AIDS consortium Co-Chair Sandra Bowers said. The tools, to be stored in police cruisers and fire trucks for quick access, will be "particularly helpful during drug raids," Police Sergeant John Kelly said. Currently, the tools are used in jails and airports and at crime scenes for handling evidence (Elfland, Worcester Telegram & Gazette, 12/21).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.