Source: Boston Globe (MA)
Pubdate: 14 Sep 1998

Report: Illegal Needle Exchange Programs Thrive in New Jersey

Three illegal syringe exchanges provided 52,000 sterile needles to
intravenous drug users in New Jersey, according to a report in Morbidity
and Mortality Weekly Review last month.  Most of the needles--48,000--were
distributed by the Chai Project based in New Brunswick.

The project has been public about its illegal distribution since 1994, when
it began.  Two other exchanges, which remain anonymous, have also surfaced.  

While bills have been introduced into the New Jersey legislature that would
legalize needle-exchanges, Mayor Christie Whitman said that she would
oppose any such measure since it "sends the wrong message to children."

Syringe distribution in the state carries a fine of $700 and a six-month
suspension of one's driver's license.  As of the end of June, almost 37,000
people have been diagnosed with AIDS and 14,000 people have tested positive
for HIV in New Jersey.  Statistics show that over 50 percent of infections
are associated with intravenous drug use.

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Checked-by: Pat Dolan