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Sending the Sick Into the Streets? How Drug Tests Will Lock Homeless New Yorkers With HIV/AIDS Out of Shelters

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's new policy will require drug screening for homeless people living with HIV/AIDS applying for shelter.

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In a faulty attempt to “remove barriers to wellness,” Commissioner Doar has constructed a roadblock in the path to healthier lives for people living with HIV/AIDS by threatening their housing stability. Expanding the availability of voluntary substance abuse treatment for HASA clients in need of it is a good policy decision. But a stable home will do more to ensure positive health outcomes than any other intervention than Commissioner Doar’s counterproductive drug policies. 

Jaron Benjamin is the community organizer of VOCAL-NY. Mike Selick is a policy intern at the Drug Policy Alliance.