HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html Get To Work Now To Restore Needle Exchange
Pubdate: Sun, 06 Jul 2008
Source: Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC)
Copyright: 2008 Times Colonist
Contact: http://www.canada.com/victoriatimescolonist/letters.html
Website: http://www.canada.com/victoriatimescolonist/
Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/481
Author: Philippe Lucas

GET TO WORK NOW TO RESTORE NEEDLE EXCHANGE

As a former school teacher and childcare worker in Victoria, I can 
understand and echo the concerns of community members and parents 
worried about discarded needles in the Harris Green neighbourhood, 
where I've worked for the past six years.

However, research suggests that needle exchange services increase 
safe disposal practices by users, decrease used needles on our 
streets and reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS and hepatitis C -- all of 
which improve the personal and public health of the region.

In fact the AIDS Vancouver Island needle exchange reported a 
104-per-cent return rate for 2006, meaning it collected four per cent 
more needles than it gave out.

Closing a proven, effective harm reduction service like the 
needle-exchange will lead to increased transmission of disease and 
more needles being discarded on our streets and parks; by allowing 
this to happen, our local government and health authority are taking 
a serious gamble with all of our public health.

Harm reduction leads to safer communities and the Vancouver Island 
Health Authority and the City of Victoria should immediately begin 
the community engagement and public consultation necessary to 
re-establish this necessary health service.

Philippe Lucas

Victoria
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom