U.S. Should Provide Clean Needles to Countries With Large Numbers of HIV Cases Spread by Drug Use, Letter to Editor Says
The recent "repeal of the ban on funding" for needle-exchange programs in Washington, D.C., "brings up a bigger issue: access to clean needles for the rest of the world," Robert Heimer, adviser for Physicians for Human Rights' Health Action AIDS Campaign, writes in a Washington Post letter to the editor. According to Heimer, a "federal ban prohibits" the U.S. from "supplying clean needles, even to countries with huge HIV/AIDS epidemics caused by needle sharing among" injection drug users. The President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief should "embrace a science-based approach to preventing" the spread of HIV -- including "clean needles, methadone therapy, outreach and education -- if it is to help Asian and Eastern European countries stop this crippling epidemic," Heimer concludes (Heimer, Washington Post, 7/6).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.