HIV, demanding truth about approaches that work

May 07, 2002

Because NAPW believes in evidence based medicine and policies based on science not stigma, we joined a letter addressed to Ambassador Randall Tobias, Office of the United States Global AIDS Coordinator, expressing concern about US officials who questioned the efficacy of needle exchange programs and sought to block support for needle exchange in United Nations resolutions and policy documents. As the letter explained:

As the single largest funder of global HIV/AIDS programs in the world, the US carries enormous influence in shaping global approaches to the epidemic. Even beyond its role as a donor, many look to the United States for guidance in the design and implementation of their programs. The fact that the United States remains the only country in the world to impose an explicit ban on federal funding of needle exchange already sets a poor example to other nations battling severe injection-driven HIV/AIDS epidemics. It is more critical than ever that US agencies communicate accurate information about needle exchange, faithfully represent the public health consensus supporting these programs, and refrain from standing in the way of countries, and organizations within its own borders, that wish to pursue this proven, effective method of prevention. With so many at risk for HIV, we need all the tools we have.

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