Washington Post Failed To Mention Federal Ban on Needle-Exchange Programs in Coverage of DC Appleseed Report, Letter Says
An Aug. 10 article in the Washington Post discussing a report by the DC Appleseed Center on the district's response to HIV/AIDS failed to mention "one difficulty in controlling the epidemic: the federal ban on D.C.-funded needle-exchange programs," Bill Mosley, a member of the Stand Up for Democracy in D.C. Coalition, writes in a Post letter to the editor (Mosley, Washington Post, 8/18). The report found that the city's response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic has been inadequate and poorly coordinated and cited four main problems with the district's response to the epidemic: city officials are not systematically collecting and analyzing data about the epidemic; the city is not properly coordinating and supervising the organizations that provide services for people living with HIV/AIDS; the district's prevention efforts are poor; and the city's HIV/AIDS services are insufficient for certain populations, such as youth or other people at high risk of contracting HIV (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 8/11). However, the report also mentioned that the only existing needle-exchange program -- which is privately operated -- reaches less than one-third of the roughly 9,700 injection drug users in the city and that such programs are more effective at reducing HIV transmission when they receive government funding, Mosley says. He concludes that the report should "serve as a spur" to fight the needle-exchange ban in the district and insist "that Congress stop interfering in our local affairs" (Washington Post, 8/18).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.