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Needle Exchange Programs

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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 3, 2005 | From Times Wire Reports
A divided county Board of Supervisors voted 3 to 2 on Tuesday to spend $500,000 to fund five needle-exchange programs in an effort to reduce the spread of HIV, hepatitis and other blood-borne diseases among illegal drug users. The vote comes five years after supervisors approved a plan to certify needle-exchange programs and give providers immunity from prosecution. But that effort languished in the Department of Health Services.
ARTICLES BY DATE
OPINION
April 10, 2012 | By Shoshanna Scholar
The first cases of HIV identified anywhere in the world are widely thought to have been in Los Angeles in 1981. Since then, 45,000 Angelenos have contracted HIV and nearly half have died due to the disease. As terrible as that statistic is, we can look back over the last 30 years with considerable pride because Los Angeles' courageous response to the epidemic also saved many lives. We now know how much worse things would have been had local elected leaders not braved controversy to support one of the most effective HIV prevention tools we have: needle exchange.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 8, 1994
Morally repugnant as it may seem, providing new hypodermic needles to drug addicts has proven highly successful in combatting the spread of AIDS. With varying degrees of official toleration, such programs have operated in New York City, San Francisco, Berkeley, Oakland, Seattle and here in Los Angeles. In New York State, needle-exchange programs operate legally under state law. Unfortunately, the California programs labor under a legal cloud of uncertainty because Gov.
OPINION
June 9, 2011
There is a dramatic arc to the three-decade history of AIDS as an epidemic and social phenomenon. Since it was first reported 30 years ago this month, the disease has evolved from an unnamed and mysterious illness to a diabolical killing machine to a chronic condition that can be managed with drugs. Overall, AIDS has killed 25 million people worldwide. But the successful campaign to transform it — and HIV, the virus that causes it — from a sentence of sure death to a diagnosis that comes with a treatment plan is a medical triumph.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 22, 1995 | JOCELYN Y. STEWART, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The news is not new--at least not for public health workers. For years they have known what a prestigious medical panel recently concluded: Programs that provide drug users with clean needles help decrease the spread of the HIV virus and do not increase illicit drug use.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 17, 1997
Re "Are Needle Exchanges a Forgotten Weapon in the War Against AIDS?" Commentary, Jan. 13: As the close friend of a speed and heroin addict, my answer is "absolutely not!" My friend is a sweet, beautiful and intelligent 21-year-old girl who shot drugs for the first time last year and became instantly addicted. I truly believe she would not have taken that first "hit" if her friend did not have clean needles from the local exchange in his possession. Now she frequents the needle exchange, and contrary to Beau Kilmer's article, exchange workers have never encouraged her to seek treatment.
NEWS
February 4, 1993 | Jerry Gillam, Times Staff Writer
Controversial legislation to allow drug addicts to exchange dirty needles for clean ones in an attempt to prevent the spread of AIDS has been introduced in the Legislature for the second time. Authored by Assembly Speaker Willie Brown (D-San Francisco), the measure (AB 260), which has been introduced in the Assembly, would establish a pilot needle exchange project in the city and county of San Francisco.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 19, 1994
Representatives of groups that distribute clean needles to drug addicts to prevent the spread of AIDS asked the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday to create a county needle exchange program. The supervisors received a report from the Department of Health Services on needle exchange programs, but will wait until next week to decide whether to ask staff to create a pilot needle exchange proposal.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 31, 1994
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday voted to have health officials study the feasibility of a countywide needle exchange program to help slow the spread of the AIDS virus. The vote does not authorize any county agency to begin a needle exchange program or sanction exchange programs by private community agencies. But Supervisor Ed Edelman said: "We need an objective study (as to) whether a needle exchange program will help stop the spread of this disease."
NEWS
November 1, 1994 | Associated Press
Handing out clean needles to drug users appears to cut their risk of AIDS in half, a new study concludes. More than 40 U.S. cities have needle exchange programs, but evidence that they actually reduce the risk of AIDS infection has been slim. Most of the data has come from studies in Europe, where AIDS among drug addicts is generally far less common than in the United States, especially the Northeast.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 14, 2007 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
The Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved a $500,000 certified needle exchange program, though two supervisors -- Mike Antonovich and Don Knabe -- questioned its benefits and suggested the money would be better spent on education and rehabilitation. The program, financed with tobacco settlement funds, provides controlled access to clean needles to drug users and others. The purpose is to prevent HIV and other blood-borne diseases by offering a safe alternative to dirty needles.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 11, 2005 | Rong-Gong Lin II, Times Staff Writer
Los Angeles Police Department officials took steps this week to ease concerns that police had been trying to intimidate clients of a needle exchange program in Hollywood. "We recognize that we need to continue to evolve, and we're certainly sensitive to this problem," Assistant Chief George Gascon told the Police Commission on Tuesday. "It's a matter of us finding a way trying to strike a balance between public health and reducing crime."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 4, 2005 | Rong-Gong Lin II and Daniel Costello, Times Staff Writers
On a recent chilly evening, four drug addicts chatted on a Hollywood sidewalk, dirty syringes in hand, waiting to collect new needles. Then the police arrived. The addicts froze as, within minutes, seven officers marched into the needle exchange and seven others faced the addicts down from across Sycamore Avenue. Peggy Roman-Jacobson, a volunteer attorney for the exchange, Clean Needles Now, approached the officers.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 3, 2005 | From Times Wire Reports
A divided county Board of Supervisors voted 3 to 2 on Tuesday to spend $500,000 to fund five needle-exchange programs in an effort to reduce the spread of HIV, hepatitis and other blood-borne diseases among illegal drug users. The vote comes five years after supervisors approved a plan to certify needle-exchange programs and give providers immunity from prosecution. But that effort languished in the Department of Health Services.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 12, 2004 | Daniel Costello, Special to The Times
Four years after a law allowing local governments throughout California to legalize needle exchanges went into effect, fewer than 25% of counties have done so. That has health officials, drug advocates and some politicians worried that HIV and hepatitis rates may be increasing among intravenous drug users. As early as next month, state legislators are expected to reintroduce a controversial bill to address those concerns.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 10, 2003 | Steve Hymon, Times Staff Writer
A human rights advocacy group Tuesday accused police in California of routinely interfering with legitimate needle-exchange programs intended to slow the spread of HIV/AIDS and hepatitis C. Human Rights Watch, a New York-based group, alleged in a report that police intent on enforcing drug laws often arrest or hassle patrons of locally approved needle-exchange programs throughout the state.
NEWS
April 18, 1993 | Iris Yokoi, Times community correspondent
Vera Owens, chief operations officer, Minority AIDS Project "It's illegal to have a needle-exchange program, but we think it would save more lives if they did have one. It is not promoting the use of drugs; it is saving lives. Drug users have interactions with people who don't use drugs too. You might have a woman involved with a man and she doesn't even know he's a drug user and that he's HIV-positive.
OPINION
May 18, 2003
Re "Riverside County Says No to Needle Program," May 14: One should always be wary of law enforcement officials who make pronouncements on public health strategy, but especially when their uncompromising positions reflect beliefs that have no basis in fact. The Riverside County Board of Supervisors is making a big mistake in accepting the notion that needle exchange programs promote the use of illegal drugs. They don't, as consistent experience throughout the world, including the United States, proves.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 14, 2003 | Seema Mehta, Times Staff Writer
A divided Riverside County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday rejected proposals to provide drug addicts with access to clean hypodermic needles, a program advocated by the county's top health-care official to stem the spread of hepatitis C and AIDS. The board voted 3 to 2 to forbid needle-exchange clinics in the county and to oppose state legislation that would allow pharmacists to sell needles without a prescription.
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