Tens of thousands of Pennsylvanians
crave daily injections of heroin. Beyond the threat of overdose is the
threat of being exposed to HIV and hepatitis C, both deadly and
expensive illnesses that are easily spread through contaminated needles.
But in Pennsylvania, distributing sterile syringes is a criminal act.
For years, Dianna
Pagan feared that giving out clean syringes in Reading would land her
in jail. Officials there recently agreed to let her needle exchange
operate, though she’s faced numerous setbacks for more than a decade,
including being shut down following the threat of prosecution.
Labels: needle exchange, Pennsylvania