Louisville prepares to launch needle-exchange program

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky's largest city is taking the lead as its first to offer a needle-exchange program, but other communities are reviewing such swaps as a way to combat heroin addiction, prevent the spread of diseases and steer drug users toward treatment.

Needle exchanges in Louisville will begin Wednesday in a trailer parked outside the city's Public Health and Wellness headquarters, health officials said Tuesday. The goal is to prevent the spread of HIV and hepatitis C and boost treatment among drug users.

"This is about the public safety of our entire community," said Louisville Metro Council member David Yates.

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