A needle exchange program to help reduce the spread of HIV and hepatitis C may finally be a reality for Bexar County.
The launch of what is sometimes referred to as harm reduction
programs was first attempted in 2008. At issue was vagueness in the
wording of the law that exposed participants in the program to possible
prosecution under state drug laws for possession of drug paraphernalia.
Rep. Ruth Jones-McClendon,
D-San Antonio, has introduced HB 65, which would allow for pilot needle
exchange programs in Bexar, Dallas, El Paso, Harris, Nueces, Travis and
Webb counties. It provides for the the exchange of needles and
syringes, education about communicable diseases such as HIV, hepatitis B
and hepatitis C, and helps program participants access substance abuse
and treatment and bloodborne disease testing.
Labels: HB 65, needle exchange, Texas