Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Needles and the damage done

With a single sentence buried in the 1,200-page omnibus spending package for 2012, signed into law last week by President Obama, social conservatives in the House quietly took a hatchet to one of the most effective strategies cities have for preventing the spread of HIV. The provision ended federal support for needle exchange programs that have been backed by most major health organizations, the U.S. Conference of Mayors, and Obama himself.

The subcommittee responsible for the rider is led by Rep. Denny Rehberg (R., Mont.), who once told a reporter: "The problem with AIDS is, you got it, you die. So why are we spending money on the issue?" AIDS advocates say the change will likely doom countless addicts to contracting HIV as well as hepatitis C. Click here to read at The Philadelphia Inquirer...