Source: Los Angeles Times, LETTERS, July 14, 1997 
Contact: Needle Exchange to Prevent AIDS 
Congratulations on "Needle Programs Are Needed" (editorial,
July 8). As a member of the Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs
Commission of L.A. County I attended a symposium on needle
exchange programs six years ago. A statement made by one of the
presenters was mindboggling: "Every time you hand out a needle
you may be saving a life." It's true. Each day, babies are born
infected with HIV because of contaminated needles. 
     SB 885 will be heard in the Assembly Health Committee on
Tuesday. Although Gov. Pete Wilson has vetoed the last three bills,
perhaps the new evidence as endorsed by the American Medical
Assn. and the U.S. Conference of Mayors will cause him to revisit
the issue. The proof is in: Needle exchanges save lives. Needle
exchanges build a bridge to treatment, help prevent HIV
transmission and do not increase drug abuse. 
     Beverly Hills 

     * Needle programs are not needed. Keeping drug addicts slaves
to their addiction does not help them, our communities or nation.
Individuals can only be successful, productive members of society
when they are independent and free from drug addiction. 
     Supervisor, L.A. County 

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