Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations
Washington Post Columnist Examines Washington, D.C., Program Aimed at Curbing Spread of HIV Among Injection Drug Users
Washington Post columnist Courtland Milloy on Wednesday examined PreventionWorks! -- a privately funded needle-exchange program in Washington, D.C., that aims to curb the spread of HIV among injection drug users in the city. According to the district's Administration for HIV Policy and Programs, injection drug use is the second leading mode of HIV transmission among men in the district, and it is the leading mode of transmission among women, Milloy writes. PreventionWorks! was launched in 1998 and provides counseling, treatment referrals and HIV tests to IDUs. Last year, the program had a budget of $600,000, all of which was donated. The program is run by Ron Daniels, four staff members and a group of volunteers, who visit 12 cites in the district six days weekly. Last year, the program provided 1,963 IDUs with access to educational materials, treatment referrals and clean needles. According to Milloy, the district has an estimated 9,700 IDUs. "The needle exchange is just the beginning," Daniels said, adding, "We use the syringe to engage in conversations with those people nobody wants to talk to. We believe in meeting people where they are, treating them like human beings and helping them avoid catching and spreading diseases" (Milloy, Washington Post, 2/7).
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