Pubdate: Thu, 22 Jun 2000
Source: Border Mail, The (Australia)
Author: Campbell Aitken


JULIANNE Whyte (The Border Mail, June 14) asked for evidence that needle and
syringe programs are effective.

How about the U.S. Surgeon General's recently released comprehensive review
of the scientific literature?

It concluded that needle and syringe programs:

* Reduce new HIV infections;

* Increase the numbers of injecting drug users referred to and retained in
drug treatment; and,

* Provide excellent opportunities for referral and entry into medical care
and other services.

This report is available on the internet at

Ms Whyte might also like to look at the Feachem report on Australia's
National HIV/AIDS Strategy.

It found that needle and syringe programs reduced blood-borne virus
infections and did so in an extremely cost-effective manner.

If Ms Whyte still feels she needs to be better informed about this issue,
I'm happy to help.

Dr Campbell Aitken, The Macfarlane Burnet Centre for Medical Research,
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