Pubdate: Fri, 27 Aug 1999
Source: San Jose Mercury News (CA)
Copyright: 1999 Mercury Center
Author: Tarian Liber


I strongly support of AB 518, which would provide legal protection to those
who set up needle exchange programs (Opinion, Aug. 26).

Everyone knows that needle exchange decreases the spread of HIV, hepatitis,
and other diseases, but it has been shown that drug use does not increase
as these exchanges are set up. This law will in no way force cities to
start needle exchanges but it will give them legal protection to do so.
Needle exchange saves lives and is a critical public health tool.

AB 518 has reached Governor Davis' desk, and he may veto it. If it is
vetoed, thousands more will die and the spread of AIDS will not slowed.
Death by an infectious disease should not be a punishment for drug use.

Tarian Liber
Palo Alto

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