Source: Contra Costa Times, July 15, 1997, Page A8 Contact: Exdrug users support needle exchange bill SACRAMENTO Former intravenous drug users who became infected with the AIDs virus by using dirty needles came to the Capitol on Monday to urge passage of a bill authorizing pilot needle exchange programs in four California cities. "I was an executive, making more than $1OO,OO0 a year, and I couldn't find a clean needle," said Bryan Wilmoth, 35. His addiction to what he now calls the "terrible, terrible, evil" drug crystal methamphetamine, or "speed," led to repeated use of dirty needles, HIV' infection and ultimately, fullblown AIDS. Wilmoth and Tiger Greve, another former IVdrug user, appeared at a Capitol news conference with AIDS researchers and a representative of the California Medical Association. Greve said needle exchange programs would take dirty needles and syringes from streets and playgrounds, where they endanger children. Bills to authorize needle exchange programs have been proposed and defeated or vetoed repeatedly since 1992, with opponents arguing distribution of hypodermic syringes would amount to condoning illegal drug use.