The use of unsterile needles by injectable drug users is a major source of HIV and hepatitis C infection. Needle exchange programs in which drug users turn in their dirty needle for clean ones, have been shown to be effective in reducing disease transmission. Currently there are only two needle exchange programs in Pennsylvania. But recent changes may increase access to clean needles. Last month the ban on federal funding for needle exchange has been lifted. Also, prescriptions are no longer required at pharmacies to purchase a syringe. This hour, we talk with SCOTT BURRIS, a law professor at Temple University Law School and ALICE BELL a project coordinator with Prevention Point Pittsburgh about how these changes will affect drug users and rates of disease.
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