NEEDLE EXCHANGE IN SERIOUS JEOPARDY!

There is a ban on the use of federal funds for syringe exchange. The federal government pays for most disease prevention efforts in the US. Studies have demonstrated that the lack of an adequately funded program of syringe exchange has caused 100,000 unnecessary infections.

Right now, US Secretary of Health and Human Services HHS Donna Shalala could lift the deadly federal funding ban with an executive order. We believe that this order may be issued after the budget process is completed (IF enough activist pressure continues to be applied). Some positive movement from the administration was shown earlier in the year when HHS was authorized to release a report that admitted the ability of syringe exchange to dramatically lower rates of new infection without contributing to increases in drug usage.

UPDATE: Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2001
This year the House Appropriations Committee, seeking to avoid major issues in
the wake of the Sept. 11th terrorist attacks, did not include the ban on local funds in approving
the $398 million in federal money for the Washington, District of Columbia, in the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1, 2001.
The House bill this year includes restrictions on use of federal or local funds for most abortions, bars the use
of funds to legalize marijuana or carrying out NEEDLE EXCHANGES,
and prohibits funds
to be used for lawsuits against Congress over D.C. voter representation.

SAVE LIVES NOW!

What You Can Do To Help
Lift the Federal Ban on Funding Syringe Exchange

The refusal of the Federal Government to lift the ban on syringe exchange funding can only be described as abject political cowardice. The sharing of needles and syringes for the injection of drugs has led to over 205,000 documented AIDS cases among men, women and children, making it one of the largest causes of HIV transmission in the United States. Seven uncontroverted federal research reports demonstrate that needle exchange programs reduce HIV transmission without increased drug use.

Based on the low injection-related AIDS rates in foreign countries with extensive needle and syringe exchange, over the counter needle and syringe access, and expanded prevention services for injecting drug users, we estimate that 33 American men, women and children are infected with AIDS every day simply because our government refuses to lift the ban on funding syringe exchange programs!

Common sense, and any conception of adequate public health policy, would dictate that our Federal and local health departments would find the most effective way to reduce the number of infected syringes in circulation amongst the population. Perhaps it is because injection-related AIDS disproportionately impacts on the poorest, most disenfranchised sectors of our society, that our government does not feel the imperative to act. Or perhaps it is from fear of backlash from the extreme religious right wing.

Whatever the case, the time to shame our leaders into immediate action is now. The National Coalition to Save Lives Now is formed by those of us who know from first hand experience the critical importance of expanded syringe access and exchange. "WE CALL UPON all Americans to lift their voices against this genocidal neglect that is devastating our families and communities and reaffirm the humanity of all persons at risk for contracting HIV.

Hundreds of organizations nationwide and thousands of individuals have already signed on to this document, and we have included a fax-back form so you can easily demonstrate your organization's support for lifting the Federal ban. A list of current sign-ons is also attached.

Copy the Call to Action and the sign-on and distribute it. As the NCSLN receives them, we will package them, and send them to Secretary Shalala on a weekly basis. Do you have a mailing list of members, constituents or supporters who want an avenue to demonstrate their opposition to the ban?

Find out more about syringe exchange. If you would like more information about how syringe exchange works, would like outlines of program models, or would like to get in touch with groups who are conducting syringe exchange in your locality, please contact us (see contact info below). For a one-page description of incidence of injection-related AIDS in your state (developed by Dawn Day, PhD, Director of the Dogwood Center), you can visit the Website http://www.safeworks.org/savelivesnow/ or request a fax from us (see contact info below). Be sure to specify your state of interest.

You can make requests for info. and offer feedback to

National Coalition to Save Lives Now!
voice. 212-213-6376, ext.17
fax. 212-213-6582
e-mail ncsln@dti.net


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NATIONAL COALITION TO SAVE LIVES NOW!

A NATIONAL CALL TO ACTION.

WHEREAS, the sharing of needles and syringes for the injection of drugs has led to over 205,000 documented AIDS cases among men, women and children, making it one of the largest causes of HIV transmission in the United States:

Sixty-three percent of all AIDS cases among women are related to sharing needles and syringes for the injection of drugs or sex with an intravenous drug user; Sharing needles and syringes for drug use is responsible for over one-third of all AIDS cases; Over one-half of all AIDS-related deaths for African-Americans and Latinos are injection-related-totaling 90,000 deaths to date; In 1995 the cost of treating the 25,500 cases of needle/syringe sharing related AIDS was more than $3 billion;

WHEREAS, Congress has authorized the Secretary of Health and Human Services to lift the ban on federal funding for needle-exchange programs once the scientific findings demonstrate that such programs reduce the incidence of HIV transmission and do not result in an increase in drug use;

WHEREAS, seven uncontroverted federal research reports demonstrate that needle exchange programs reduce HIV transmission without increased drug use;

WHEREAS, the Secretary of Health and Human Services has failed to exercise her statutory responsibility and lift the federal ban despite the scientific findings;

WHEREAS, two-thirds of all people in the United States and even more African-Americans and Latinos strongly support needle exchange programs; and

WHEREAS, leaders from the Centers for Disease Control and the National Institutes of Health, numerous national public health organizations, drug treatment programs, law enforcement officials religious leaders, and organizations involved in the daily battle to prevent the spread of AIDS support funding needle exchange programs.

NOW, therefore, we call upon our communities, our families, our churches, our mosques and synagogues, colleges and universities, businesses, political and cultural groups, community based organizations and our elected representatives to join together in a national emergency to lift the federal ban on funding needle exchange programs;

WE CALL UPON all people in the United States to demand that Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala lift the needle exchange funding ban now and that our elected representatives in Washington support that decision; and

WE CALL UPON our elected leaders and government officials to join us in a moral crusade to save lives now; and

FINALLY, WE CALL UPON all Americans to lift their voices against this genocidal neglect that is devastating our families and communities and reaffirm the humanity of all persons at risk for contracting HIV.

 

Please fax to Latino Commission on AIDS (212) 675-3466.

You can also mail this form back to the National Coalition:

National Coalition to Save Lives Now!
c/o the Harm Reduction Coalition
22 West 27th Street, 9th Floor
New York, NY 10001

For more information, please call the Chris Lanier

The Harm Reduction Coalition, (212) 213-6376, ext. 17
22 West 27th Street, 9th Floor
New York, NY 10001
phone. 212.213.6376 ext. 17
fax. 212.213.6582
email: ncsln@dti.net
website: http://www.harmreduction.org

 

"WE CALL UPON all Americans to lift their voices against this genocidal neglect that is devastating our families and communities and reaffirm the humanity of all persons at risk for contracting HIV."

 

Endorsements (List in formation) 6/97:

ACT UP/New York
African American Health Education and Resource Center, Phoenix
AIDS Materials Project
AIDS Prevention Action Network, Redwood City, CA
AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin
AIDS Rochester, NY
AIDS Survival Project, Atlanta
AIDS Treatment Data Network
AIDS Work of Tompkins County, Ithica, NY
Alianza Latina SUNY Old Westbury, NY
Berkeley Free Clinic - Gay Men's Health Collective
Beth Israel Medical Center
Bi-Valley Medical Clinic, Sacramento
Bridgeport Health Department AIDS Program
Brooklyn Pediatric AIDS Network
Bushwick Community Services Society, Brooklyn
Casa Betsaida, Brooklyn
Cheer at Whitney M. Young AIDS Center, Albany, NY
Chicago Recovery Alliance
Chicken Soup Brigade, SeattleCHOW Project, Honolulu
Citizen's Advice Bureau, Bronx, NY
Colorado Harm Reduction Coalition
Common Sense for Drug Policy
Common Sense for Drug Policy
Community Family Planning Council, NYC
Community Health Care Association of New York State
Community Health Project, NYC
Community Prescription Service, NYC
Community Service Society, NY
Critical Path AIDS Project
Deborah J. Glick, New York State Assemblymember
Disabled in Action of Metropolitan New York
Dogwood Center
Drug Policy Forum of Hawaii Treatment)
NYCDrug Policy Foundation
East New York Urban Youth Corps, Brooklyn
Exponents, Inc./ARRIVE, NYC
FACT (Friends of the Addicted for Comprehensive
Franz S. Leichter, New York State Senator
GALAEI Project, Philadelphia
Gay Men's Health Crisis, NYC
Haitian Centers Council, Brooklyn
Harm Reduction Care Network of New York
Harm Reduction CoalitionHarm Reduction Hawaii
Harm Reduction Institute (The
Harm Reduction Outreach, Rockford, IL
HealthForce: Women and Men Against AIDS, NYC
Hispanic AIDS Forum, NYC
HIV Law Project, NYC
Housing Works, NYC
Inter Council Community Fellowship, NYC
Jews for Racial and Economic Justice
Judson Memorial Church, NYC
LAMBDA Legal Defense & Education Fund
Latino Commission on AIDS
Latino Family Services, Detroit
Legal Action Center, NYC
Long Island Association for AIDS Care, Inc., NY
Mid-Bronx Community Preservation Coalition, NYC
Mobilization Against AIDS, CA
Momentum AIDS Project, NYC
Mother's Voices
Moving Equipment/Clean Needle Program, NYC
National Association of People with AIDS
Native American Community Services of Erie & Niagara Counties, Buffalo
New York Academy of Medicine
New York AIDS Coalition
New York City Council Member Thomas K. Duane
New York Peer AIDS Education Coalition
New York State Nurses AssociationNorth American Syringe Exchange Network
Northeast Valley Health Corp., Panonrama City, CA
PEERS, Denver
Peninsula Health Concepts, San Mateo, CA
People's Projects), Indianapolis, IN
Postgraduate Center for Mental Health, NYC
POZ Magazine
Prevention Point, Pittsburgh
Project BRAVO/ Montefiore Medical Center, NYC
Promesa, Bronx, NY
PWA Health Group
RAPP for Youth, Rochester, NY
Reality House, Inc., NYC
Rochester Area Task Force on AIDS, NY
Rockford Urban Ministries, IL
Sacramento Area Needle Exchange
Safe Works AIDS Project, Minneapolis Minnesota
Santa Cruz Needle Exchange
Santa Monica AIDS Project
South River H.S. AIDS Ambassadors, NJ
St. Ann's Corner of Harm Reduction, NYC
Steinway Child & Family Services, Queens
Steps Toward Another Tomorrow, Bellrose, NY
Streetwork Project, NYC
Topeka AIDS Project
United Community Centers, Brooklyn
Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood, Albany
Urban League of Westchester County, Inc.
Whitney Young Health Centers, Albany
Williamsburg/Greenpoint/Bushwick HIV Care Network, NYC
Xchange Point, Cleveland
YWCA of McKeesport, PA
. . . and over 1,500 concerned individuals nationwide

 

see also: MAYORS TALK; CLINTON BALKS

see also: Mayor's Office Suppressed Report on Needle Exchange

see also:

see also: ACTIONS

'97 NYC Gay Pride Graphics


 

see also: Fucked Up Models of AIDS Prevention
_______Donald Grove, Lower East Side Harm Reduction

 

see also: U.S. Immigration Policy