Is 2015 the Year for Legalized Clean Needle Exchange?

As the costs of treating HIV and Hepatitis C infections are rising, and as these blood-borne diseases continue to be transmitted at discouraging rates, will 2015 be the year that the Texas Legislature finally approves a needle exchange program?

San Antonio state Rep. Ruth Jones McClendon, a Democrat who has represented the east and northeast parts of town for almost 20 years, has once again filed a bill to create pilot programs in seven major counties—Bexar, Harris, Dallas, El Paso, Travis, Nueces and Webb—that would legalize clean syringe distribution to intravenous drug users, in exchange for their used needles, and provide wound care supplies, outreach and public education on the transmission of communicable diseases and drug abuse counseling.


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