Source: New York Times (NY)
Pubdate: Sun, April 19, 1998


WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- The Mayors of five cities urged the Clinton
Administration on Friday to allow Federal money to be used for needle
exchange programs for drug users, but an influential Congressman said he
would act to stop such a move.

The Mayors, who serve in San Francisco, Detroit, Seattle, New Haven and
Baltimore, said in a letter to Donna E. Shalala, the Secretary of Health
and Human Services, that 33 Americans were infected every day with the
virus that causes AIDS as a result of injecting drugs.

But Representative Gerald B.H. Solomon, the New York Republican who heads
the House Rules Committee, said he would work to pass legislation
permanently banning such payments.

Congress has asked Dr. Shalala to determine whether needle exchange
programs would reduce H.I.V. infection and would not promote illegal drug
use. She certified the first condition in February 1997 and her
determination on the second is pending.