Lifepoint Needle Exchange Program
Needle-exchange programs are community-based initiatives that allow intravenous (IV) drug users to exchange used syringes for clean, sterile ones in an effort to prevent HIV infection. Throughout most of the AIDS epidemic, IV drug users have been a major demographic of HIV-infected individuals because of blood-to-blood contact when used needles are shared.
Despite numerous studies showing that needle exchange programs reduce the spread of HIV among IV drug users and do not encourage increased drug use, most political leaders have been reluctant to support such programs. The federal government continues to ban the use of HIV prevention funds for needle exchange programs.