Copyright (c) 1997, Information Access Company, a Thomson Corporation Company;
IAC(SM) Industry Express(SM); AIDS Weekly Plus; March  3, 1997 

 The San Francisco AIDS Foundation, California, has renewed
the call for local, state, and federal government support
of  needle exchange  programs.The San Francisco AIDS
Foundation HIV Prevention Project has provided streetbased
needle and syringe exchange services to injection drug
users since November 1988. The program started as an
allvolunteer effort and has expanded to ten sites
throughout San Francisco. It exchanges more than two
million sterile needles a year through 50,000 client
contacts. The U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH)
consensus report cites	needle exchange  as a vital and
highly effective strategy in AIDS prevention. " Needle
exchange  is one of the most costeffective means of
reaching extremely disenfranchised individuals at highest
risk for HIV. Simply put, needle exchange  saves lives,"
said Pat Christen, San Francisco AIDS Foundation.

   "The program in San Francisco is an absolutely essential
component of the AIDS prevention and service delivery model
in the city.  Needle exchange  is largely responsible for
the relatively low rates of HIV infection among injection
drug users and their partners in San Francisco.  Needle
exchange  is also an important component in reducing the
incidence of pediatric AIDS. There were no pediatric cases
of AIDS in San Francisco reported in 1995 or 1996."

   The report states that  needle exchange  causes an
estimated 30 percent or greater reduction of HIV in
injection drug users; that  needle exchange  does not
increase drug use; that individuals in areas with  needle
exchange  programs have increased likelihood of entering
drug treatment programs; that  needle exchange	does not
encourage nondrug users, particularly youth, to use drugs;
and that there is no increase in used needles discarded in
public spaces.