San Diego Mayor Aims To Reinstate Needle-Exchange Program
San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders on Wednesday said he believes he has the five votes needed by the City Council to reinstate a needle-exchange program to reduce the spread of HIV, hepatitis and other bloodborne diseases, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports (Kucher, San Diego Union Tribune, 7/6). The city's needle-exchange program was shut down in July 2005. Supporters of the program said they are confident that it will be reinstated because the mayor supports it and because a new law that took effect Jan. 1 removes a requirement that local governments must declare a health emergency every two weeks to allow needle-exchange programs (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 2/9). The Alliance Healthcare Foundation plans to contribute $386,400 to the program to pay for staffing and supplies for the next two years. A council vote is scheduled for Tuesday (San Diego Union-Tribune, 7/6).
KPBS' "KPBS News" on Wednesday reported on Sanders' plan and the city council's upcoming vote. The segment includes comments from Sanders (Ford Roth, "KPBS News," KPBS, 7/5). The complete transcript is available online.