Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (WI) 
Pubdate: Mon, 04 May 1998
Fax: (414) 224-8280 


I am compelled to write to counteract the obvious campaign being waged 
on behalf of the needle exchange program.

Even to consider providing paraphernalia for the abuse of drugs is 
legally and morally reprehensible.

To my knowledge, drug abuse is illegal in our city, state and country. 
To provide drugs or the tools to administer drugs is also illegal. We 
cannot condone this kind of activity. If the city were to start such a 
program, city officials should be arrested.

Supporters of this illegal activity, euphemistically called the needle 
exchange program, point to a University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee survey, 
which they commissioned, supposedly suggesting that a majority of 
Milwaukeeans support the program.

Please don't insult our intelligence. No survey report ever 
contradicts the wishes of the commissioning group. If it does, it 
never sees the light of day.

We are besieged with numerous health problems, all of which require 
our attention, especially those we acquire through no fault of our 

There are millions of diabetics who need multiple injections of 
insulin daily to sustain their lives. Not one syringe should be 
provided free to a drug abuser unless we have first provided for the 

In order to save our society from its morally bankrupt condition, I 
encourage those who share my sentiments to make their views known.
Conrad C. Kaminski Milwaukee

In an April 29 letter to the editor, Daniel Kurt said of the needle 
exchange program, Lifepoint, "The result is less risk of infection by 
this segment of the population."

The problem with this statement is that there is no reliable 
information to back it up. The most widely reported studies rely on 
self-reporting of HIV status by addicts.

The July 1997 issue of the journal AIDS reported on an 18-month study 
of IV drug users in Vancouver, the city with the largest needle 
exchange program in the Western Hemisphere, in which 257 addicts were 
tested and found negative for HIV. Within six months, 24 had been 
exposed to the virus. Of these, 23 reported regularly obtaining 
sterile equipment from the program.

Another study published in the December 1997 American Journal of 
Epidemiology was even more negative. Roughly 1,600 IV drug users were 
tracked for an average of nearly two years. The blood tests of needle 
exchange program participants were compared with those of addicts who 
did not take advantage of this. Program users were twice as likely as 
non-users to become infected.

Remember this during future AIDS walks, as some of the money funds 
these programs.

Troy A. Pflum Fond du Lac