Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Obama lifts federal ban on funding needle exchanges

The Obama White House has launched its new website, Under the header "The Agenda - Civil Rights", the site highlights various relevant issues including; homophobia and its affect on HIV/AIDS, contraception (including in prisons), the need to empower women to prevent the spread of HIV, and notably: needle exchange. The relevant text is below. Aside from a small mention for drug courts and eliminating the cocaine/crack sentencing disparity there isn't much else about drug policy yet, but lifting the disgraceful needle exchange funding ban is a good start considering we are only in day one - and the generally pragmatic tone bodes well. Can we be cautiously optimistic? Yes we can.

"*Promote AIDS Prevention: In the first year of his presidency, President Obama will develop and begin to implement a comprehensive national HIV/AIDS strategy that includes all federal agencies. The strategy will be designed to reduce HIV infections, increase access to care and reduce HIV-related health disparities. The President will support common sense approaches including age-appropriate sex education that includes information about contraception, combating infection within our prison population through education and contraception, and distributing contraceptives through our public health system. The President also supports lifting the federal ban on needle exchange, which could dramatically reduce rates of infection among drug users. President Obama has also been willing to confront the stigma -- too often tied to homophobia -- that continues to surround HIV/AIDS.

* Empower Women to Prevent HIV/AIDS: In the United States, the percentage of women diagnosed with AIDS has quadrupled over the last 20 years. Today, women account for more than one quarter of all new HIV/AIDS diagnoses. President Obama introduced the Microbicide Development Act, which will accelerate the development of products that empower women in the battle against AIDS. Microbicides are a class of products currently under development that women apply topically to prevent transmission of HIV and other infections."

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Unknown said...

The second link ("The Agenda - Civil Rights") doesn't work

Steve Rolles said...

Thanks - Ive corrected it.

HR2 said...

There have been further developments on this

of US Congress call for policy coherence on harm reduction