Yes We Did….Syringe exchange

CDC’s new reasonable syringe exchange guidelines are out. Good news. Public disinterest suggests heartening end to HIV culture wars–or disheartening boredom with a still-deadly epidemic.

The new CDC guidelines are out for syringe service programs. These are quite reasonable.

In its own way, the apparent lack of public interest is heartening. The culture wars around HIV prevention and injection drug use are yesterday’s news.

Less heartening is the resounding lack of public interest in the broader HIV/AIDS epidemic, which every year kills more than 10,000 Americans, and the rate of new infections has likely been rising.

In 2008, HIV/AIDS killed an estimated 1.7 million adults and 280,000 children around the world.

Author: Harold Pollack

Harold Pollack is Helen Ross Professor of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago. He has served on three expert committees of the National Academies of Science. His recent research appears in such journals as Addiction, Journal of the American Medical Association, and American Journal of Public Health. He writes regularly on HIV prevention, crime and drug policy, health reform, and disability policy for American Prospect, tnr.com, and other news outlets. His essay, "Lessons from an Emergency Room Nightmare" was selected for the collection The Best American Medical Writing, 2009. He recently participated, with zero critical acclaim, in the University of Chicago's annual Latke-Hamentaschen debate.

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