Pubdate: Wed, 31 Jul 2002
Source: Wall Street Journal (US)
Copyright: 2002 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
Authors: Peter Lurie, M.D., Ernest Drucker, Ph.D.
Bookmark: (Needle Exchange)


Former President Clinton has recently acknowledged that "I was wrong" for 
not heeding the masses of scientific evidence and legalizing 
needle-exchange programs (July 12).

But there are 17,000 individuals to whom Mr. Clinton really owes an 
apology. We have estimated in the British medical journal, The Lancet, that 
up to 17,000 HIV infections in the U.S. could have been prevented by needle 
exchanges during Mr. Clinton's terms. What would a now-contrite Mr. Clinton 
say were he forced to face those drug users, their partners and their 
babies who were unnecessarily infected on his watch because clean needles 
were not available?

Peter Lurie, M.D. -- Deputy Director Public Citizen's Health Research Group

Ernest Drucker, Ph.D. -- Professor of Epidemiology and Social Medicine, 
Montefiore Medical Center Washington
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