Pubdate: Tue, 13 Aug 2002
Source: Tribune Review (PA)
Copyright: 2002 Tribune-Review Publishing Co.
Author: Steffanie A. Strathdee and David Vlahov
Note: Strathdee is associate professor at Johns Hopkins University, 
Bloomberg School of Public Health. Vlahov is director of Center for Urban 
Epidemiologic Studies, New York Academy of Medicine. The writers hold 
Bookmark: (Needle Exchange)


We are writing in response to the July 25 editorial "The bigger dope." The 
editorial calls into question the effectiveness of funding needle- exchange 
programs in order to reduce the risk of transmitting HIV.

While our research shows that sexual behavior is an important risk factor 
for HIV infection among drug users, this does not negate the findings from 
our other analyses that the needle-exchange program has been effective in 
reducing risk of HIV and other blood-borne infections.

In fact, we and other researchers have shown that use of needle- exchange 
programs is associated with lower rates of HIV infection and 
needle-sharing, greater admissions to drug abuse treatment programs, fewer 
discarded needles on the street and a decrease in crime.

Steffanie A. Strathdee


David Vlahov

New York City 
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