D.C. to Lose AIDS Prevention Program
The District’s leading needle exchange program for AIDS prevention plans to close its doors by the end of February, the Washington Post reports.
Waning private donations, delays in city funding and high turnover of managers in recent years were among the reasons leading to the nonprofit’s Feb. 25 closure, said Michael Rhein, president of the board.
PreventionWorks distributed free, sterile needles to drug users for the past 12 years – about one third of the free needles in the city with an HIV/AIDS rate of at least three percent. Last year, it distributed about 100,000 sterile syringes to 2,200 people.
Needle exchange programs have been a controversial issue in D.C. Because of a congressional prohibition on publicly funded needle exchanges, Prevention- Works was the city’s only program until three years ago.