The needle exchange ban never applied to US-funded international AIDS programs, but the previous administration essentially acted as if it did. Now that the ban has officially hit the legislative dustbin, Eric Goosby, MD, the U.S. global AIDS coordinator, has signaled an readiness to move forward in providing PEPFAR support for needle exchange programs in countries hard hit by the HIV/AIDS epidemic. But the wheels of bureaucracy may move slowly.
Here’s the statement Dr. Goosby gave to Housing Works, which posted this comprehensive blog on what the end of the ban means in practice domestically and globally. Click the link above to read the full blog or read below for Goosby’s statement:
“I’ve been involved in working with injection drug users for a long time, and my view is that the evidence strongly supports the value of needle and syringe programs as part of a comprehensive prevention portfolio,” Goosby said in a statement to the Update. “PEPFAR is currently working with agencies across the U.S. Government to determine the best way forward in supporting this comprehensive package.”