Pubdate: Fri, 20 Feb 2009
Source: Victoria News (CN BC)
Copyright: 2009 Victoria News
Author: Karen Dennis


Re: Careful when picking up discarded needles (News, Feb. 6).

The Victoria Downtown Business Association has partnered with AIDS
Vancouver Island and the Downtown Clean and Safe Committee to have a
"tool kit" available for those who have issues with inappropriately
discarded needles around their properties, especially since the
closure of the fixed site needle exchange.

The tool kit was developed with materials offered by Streetsafe in
Edmonton. The tool kit is not an alternative for safe needle pick up
and is not meant to provide those who use needles the freedom to leave
their paraphernalia anywhere. It is meant for those who don't mind
cleaning their areas and would like to do it safely.

If you read the tool kit, it will provide the information required on
how to do that safely. It also provides contact information on
agencies that deal with used syringes.

The tool kit provides education for adults and children who may come
across an inappropriately discarded syringe that will keep them safe.

I also believe if someone were to approach a police officer, city
worker etc. with a used syringe, it is highly unlikely to be perceived
as a threat. The tool kit explains how to hold a used needle (if one
chooses) in a safe manner that definitely will not be misconstrued as

I encourage people to take a look at the tool kit. You can find it at
the City of Victoria, Victoria Downtown Business Association or AIDS
Vancouver Island, either online or at their locations.

Karen Dennis

Executive director, Victoria AIDS Resource & Community Service Society
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MAP posted-by: Larry Seguin