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Big Step Forward and Small Step Back in Removing Syringe Exchange Ban

Written By: Jennifer Redner
July 24, 2009

 

capcritlogo150In an effort to promote sound HIV prevention policies, Rep. José Serrano led the U.S. House of Representatives effort to end the ban on federal funding for needle and syringe exchange programs by including the ban-ending provision in the based FY 2010 Labor, Health and Human Services and Education bill. By a vote of 218-211, the House rejected an effort to strip Serrano’s provision from the bill.  Unfortunately, the House also included a provision that restricts federal funding for needle exchange programs that operate within 1,000 feet of day care centers, schools, universities, public pools, parks, playgrounds, video arcades or youth centers or an event sponsored by these organizations. Next step in the legislative process is for the Senate to take up this bill – and the “zone” provision must be removed to be considered a real step forward in HIV prevention.

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