N.J. needle-exchange program shows success

    TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey health officials say a program to promote access to clean needles has shown continuing success.

    The Department of Health issued a report Friday recommending continuation of the Syringe Access Program.

    The report says the program has helped 10,000 residents of Atlantic City, Camden, Newark, Jersey City and Paterson reduce their risk of HIV and hepatitis and gain access to public health and social services.

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    Health officials say that providing free, clean needles reduces the risk of contracting HIV/AIDS and other blood-borne diseases and increases access to drug treatment without increasing crime.

    Six pilot cities were authorized under the state’s Bloodborne Disease Harm Reduction Act, approved in 2006. Five cities are participating.

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