Pubdate: Tues, 31 Aug 1999
Source: Nelson Daily News (Canada)


The ANKORS needle exchange program has been in operation for just over one
year.  Since its inception, it has established four fixed sites at the West
Kootenay/Boundary Addictions Services offices in Trail and Nelson; the Red
Cross Outpost in Edgewood; and Dr. Van Vliet's office in Castlegar.

In addition, a mobile unit travels throughout the West Kootenay region and
parts of the Boundary region.  Mobile service is provided through regular
stops at pre-selected sites from Edgewood in the North, Rock Creek in the
West, Salmo in the East, and all points in between. The mobile unit provides
service to the more isolated people in the region who inject drugs.

The ANKORS needle exchange program has become part of a comprehensive
approach in the prevention of HIV and the communities it serves.  It is an
integral prt of the effort to stem the spread of HIV and other infections,
and part of an inclusive approach to health problems associated with needle

One of the program goals has been to collect as many used syringes as new
ones given out.  To date, the ANKORS needle exchange program has given out
3765 needles and collected 4613 needles; an average return rate of 123% for
the year.  This demonstrates that the program is highly effective in keeping
used needles off the streets and out of the parks of the communities it

Although there is no way to gather definitive evidence, the ANKORS needle
exchange proghram may have prevented significant numbers of HIV, Hepatitis
C, and other infections among clients of the program, their drug and sex
partners, their children and the community at large.

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