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Urgent: Ban on Federal Needle Exchange Funding May be Restored in Next 8 Hours

 
 
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 Two years ago, Congress and President Obama repealed a 21-year-old ban on federal funding for local needle exchange programs to reduce rates of HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C. Drug policy reformsits and public health advocates applauded the repeal as a victory for science over stigma, but the ban may be restored as early as today. Lawmakers are struggling against a ticking clock to complete this year's spending bill, and Republicans are pushing to save by cutting needle exchange programs. 

The ban has the potential to do serious harm.  According to the international HIV/AIDS foundation Avert.org, In New York City alone, HIV prevalence fell from 54 percent to 13 percent following the introduction of needle exchange programmes.

To contact your representatives to save federal funding for needle exchanges and help spread the message, see and share the information Asha Bandele of Drug Policy Alliance comprised, below:

NEW YORK

Republicans are trying to restore the federal syringe funding ban. If Democrats cave to their demand tens of thousands of people could contract HIV/AIDS and/or hepatitis C. Please call the White House right now at 202-456-1414. The message for the President is: “ My name is _______.  I live in <Your City and State>.  Thank you for your past support of syringe exchange.   Please make sure that Congress does not add a syringe funding ban to the omnibus spending bill they are working on. Passing a syringe exchange ban  would be a shameful rejection of public health and rational drug policy that would result in thousands of Americans contracting HIV/AIDS and/or hepatitis C next year.” After you call the White House please call Senator Charles Schumer at 202-224-6542 and give him a similar message.

NEVADA

Republicans are trying to restore the federal syringe funding ban. If Democrats cave to their demand tens of thousands of people could contract HIV/AIDS and/or hepatitis C. Please call the White House right now at 202-456-1414. The message for the President is: “ My name is _______.  I live in <Your City and State>.  Thank you for your past support of syringe exchange.   Please make sure that Congress does not add a syringe funding ban to the omnibus spending bill they are working on. Passing a syringe exchange ban  would be a shameful rejection of public health and rational drug policy that would result in thousands of Americans contracting HIV/AIDS and/or hepatitis C next year.” After you call the White House please call Majority Leader Harry Reid at 202-224-3542 and give him a similar message.

ILLINOIS

Republicans are trying to restore the federal syringe funding ban. If Democrats cave to their demand tens of thousands of people could contract HIV/AIDS and/or hepatitis C. Please call the White House right now at 202-456-1414. The message for the President is: “ My name is _______.  I live in <Your City and State>.  Thank you for your past support of syringe exchange.   Please make sure that Congress does not add a syringe funding ban to the omnibus spending bill they are working on. Passing a syringe exchange ban  would be a shameful rejection of public health and rational drug policy that would result in thousands of Americans contracting HIV/AIDS and/or hepatitis C next year.” After you call the White House please call  Assistant Majority Leader Richard Durbin at 202-224-2152 and give him a similar message.

ALL OTHER STATES

Republicans are trying to restore the federal syringe funding ban. If Democrats cave to their demand tens of thousands of people could contract HIV/AIDS and/or hepatitis C. Please call the White House right now at 202-456-1414. The message for the President is: “ My name is _______.  I live in <Your City and State>.  Thank you for your past support of syringe exchange.   Please make sure that Congress does not add a syringe funding ban to the omnibus spending bill they are working on. Passing a syringe exchange ban  would be a shameful rejection of public health and rational drug policy that would result in thousands of Americans contracting HIV/AIDS and/or hepatitis C next year.”

AlterNet / By Kristen Gwynne

Posted at December 12, 2011, 7:40am