With everything else going on, some very bad news has slipped by without a lot of public attention.
As most RBC readers know, every major public health expert body from the Institute of Medicine to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to UNAIDS and the World Health Organization, to the White House Office of Drug Control Policy endorses syringe exchange as an effective and cost-effective strategy to prevent HIV and other blood-borne infection among injection drug users.
Despite this evidence, Philip Smith and Maia Szalavitz report, Congress just restored the ban on federal funding for syringe exchange after the Senate took the final votes to approve the 2012 federal omnibus spending bill.
I’ll have more to say when I get a change to learn more about the practical impact. It’s especially regrettable that the bill hinders support for evidence-based international programs that support syringe exchange. There is a fight for life against AIDS around the world. This is very detrimental.
The below press release from the AIDS Foundation of Chicago tells the basic word: