Washington Post Profiles District of Columbia’s Prevention Works! Needle-Exchange Program
The Washington Post on Sunday profiled Ron Daniels, one of two full-time employees of the not-for-profit group Prevention Works!, which operates a mobile needle-exchange program in the District of Columbia. Daniels, who has been with the program since it began five years ago, tested positive for HIV in 1989 and believes he contracted the virus after sharing needles to inject drugs. Daniels quit using injection drugs in 1997. A federal law signed by former President Clinton in 1998 bans the district government from using local tax money to fund any organization that operates a needle-exchange program, according to the Post. Whitman-Walker Clinic, the area's largest health care provider for HIV-positive people, established Prevention Works! in response to the law. The program, which has a current annual budget of $393,000, is solely funded with private money, the Post reports . According to local health officials, 9,856 D.C. residents inject drugs, about one in 20 has HIV and AIDS prevalence in the district is the highest among large U.S. cities, the Post reports. Last year, Daniels helped distribute 360,143 clean syringes to 3,180 participants (Vargas, Washington Post, 9/26). The complete article is available online.This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.