Back in New York when the AIDs epidemic first hit the government refused to allow charities and other non profits to create a systematic distribution of clean needles to the city’s addicts. It was seen as almost an unspoken thing that addicts should not be helped – and more importantly anything that could be seen as even remotely enabling or assisting the addict was seen as unfavourably.
In fact while non profits attempted to curb the spread of AIDs by giving clean needles to addicts it didn’t stop the reality – and the reality was that the police were breaking down the doors of these clean addict providers and arresting those responsible.
It was no surprise then that New York had a 70% AIDs infection rate amongst addicts and soon the situation was out of control. By the time New York had lifted the ban the damage was all ready done and AIDs continues to be a big issue in New York.
Needle recycling is very important – our sponsor which you can (find out more info) about may not have the same issues – if you are a patient there you will never have to experience a re-used needle – and many clinics have this situation handled. However for others – and especially those addicts that end up in crack houses this is not the case. You can rest assured that the needle exchange and clean needle program is simply not setup in the way that it should be.
In most times addicts always get left behind on the totem pole – and they are not given the respect that they deserve – it is quite unfortuante – and another effect of the drug war. However there are a couple of things to keep in mind on how to stop the spread of AIDs and the two major areas are:
- Give out clean needles
- Exchange dirty needles for clean needles
In any red light district that you will go to these days you will see the exchange of needls with clean needles being given out in exchange for dirty needles. Many times the clinics will want to encourage users to bring in their dirty needles – they still want to give out clean needles for free but sometimes meals and other essentials will be provided for dirty needles being exchanged for clean ones.