end the needle exchange funding ban

Syringe exchange program save lives—scientific studies have proven they reduce the spread of HIV without increasing drug use. Urge your Senators to vote to end the ban on federal funding for SEPs

send to your senators . . .
The Senate has a chance to fight AIDS and help provide needed health services to injecting drug users by lifting the ban on federal funding of needle and syringe exchange programs (SEPs) in the 2010 Labor-Health and Human Services Appropriations Bill.

I urge you to vote to end this harmful ban, and ensure the bill contains no last-minute language or amendments that would place restrictions on SEPs.

More than a dozen scientific and federally-funded major reviews of SEPs by experts have shown that when implemented as part of a comprehensive HIV/AIDS prevention strategy, SEPs help reduce HIV transmissions without increasing drug use.

Indeed, SEPs do more than provide clean syringes and properly dispose of used ones; they link people into the health care system and drug treatment programs that save lives.

Every medical and scientific body that has studied syringe exchange has concluded that SEPs are essential, including the American Medical Association, Centers for Disease Control, World Health Organization, American Nurses Association, and American Public Health Association.

I also urge you to prevent any language or amendments in the Senate bill that would place undue restrictions on SEPs. The House of Representatives included the detrimental “1,000 Foot Rule”, which states that no federal funds may be used for needle exchange programs within 1,000 feet of schools, universities, playgrounds and other institutions.

This language severely and unnecessarily limits the locations of SEPs. In some cases, the rule makes it impossible for urban communities to have needle exchange programs at all. I urge the Senate to reject this rule and let states and communities decide how to run their own SEPs.

Syringe exchange is a scientifically proven tool to curb the spread of HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C and other diseases. As your constituent, I urge you to vote to support this lifesaving program.

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