City Funding for Needle-Exchange Programs in Washington, D.C., Provides District With New ‘Weapon’ Against HIV, Editorial Says
City funding for needle-exchange programs in Washington, D.C., will provide the district with a new "weapon" against HIV, a Washington Post editorial says. According to the editorial, the "obstruction" against city funding for needle-exchange programs likely will end with the passage this week of a $555 billion fiscal year 2008 omnibus spending bill (HR 2764) (Washington Post, 12/21).
The House on Wednesday voted 272-142 to pass the bill, which includes a measure that would lift a ban on funding for needle-exchange programs in the district. The district Department of Health has said it plans to allocate $1 million in city funds for needle-exchange programs once the funding ban is removed. The bill has been sent to President Bush, who is expected to sign the measure (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 12/20).
Mayor Adrian Fenty promised to "waste no time" in allocating funding for city needle-exchange programs once Bush signs the bill, the editorial says. "That it took this long" to lift the ban is a "travesty" because HIV/AIDS is "ravaging" the district, the editorial says. However, with "its new authority, the district has another weapon in its uphill battle against" HIV/AIDS, the editorial concludes (Washington Post, 12/21).