AIDS is the leading killer of black men and women ages 15-44 in the U.S. This is obscene.
Public health research has demonstrated that privately funded needle exchange programs are an effective way of reducing the spread of HIV in the IV drug using community. Needle exchange programs are supported by the Head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Anthony Fauci, as well as most public health advocates. Research has also demonstrated that programs do not lead to an increase in the use of illegal drugs. Needles exchange programs DO provide an opportunity to provide HIV prevention counseling, testing, and treatment referral.
"On December 16, 2009, President Obama signed into law an end to the longstanding ban on most Federal funding for needle exchange programs, giving us more opportunities to stop the spread of HIV and other infections among injecting drug users (IDUs). The Administration continues to support a consistent policy that would allow Federal funds to be used in locations where local authorities deem needle exchange programs to be effective and appropriate. Unfortunately, Congress has reinstated the ban." http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2012/01/05/federal-funding-ban-needle-exchange-programs
It is time for Congress to lift its ban on federal funding for needle exchange programs.