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Federal Funding Ban on Needle Exchange Program: We Have the Right To Fight
by Sara Lesmeister
Wednesday Dec 12th, 2012 3:44 PM
This short peice is about the government continuing to reban federal funds access to needle exchange programs. Many more facilities could be opened and expanded to include more services other than solely provide clean needles such as rehabilitaion, STD screenings, and more with additional funding besides the minimal local and/or state fundings. This has been proven to reduce HIV/AIDS and is important in not allowing the numbers to once again increase to epidemic proportions.
Federal Funding Ban on Needle Exchange Program: We Have the Right To Fight December 12, 2012
In 2009, President Obama lifted a 21-year ban on federal funding to go to needle exchange programs that enabled grant money to go to needle exchange programs across the United States. However since then, in 2011, the federal government has reenacted the ban of federal funding for these programs, only two years after lifting the ban. Fights to reinstate the funding were put on hold by Congress with a half-year deal in order to not make it an issue present in the elections. The time that goes by with the funding is a detrimental threat to our society’s health. Without federal funding, many needle exchange programs are forced to close therefore they are unable to provide clean needles and other health services to the clients who need them. They are able to provide STD screenings, safe sex and safe drug use lectures, and drug rehabilitation for those who are ready to stop using. Most of all, it has been shown that with the help and services of these needle exchange programs, the rate of HIV/AIDS has significantly reduced in our country. The work that has already been done is and will be quickly taken away with the continuance of lack of funding. Congress has already taken away the federal funding and now the right to even fight to get it back. In reality, how many lives are they taking as well?

Sara Lesmeister
Sonoma State University
Rohnert Park, California