In Wisconsin, ARCW recognized that an explosion of HIV infection would occur among IV drug users unless needle exchange was implemented. In 1994, ARCW launched its historic Lifepoint needle exchange program with a mission of saving lives from HIV infection.
From the start, Lifepoint had unique support from political, public health, and law enforcement officials. In the first decade of Lifepoint, the annual HIV infection rate among IV drug users in Milwaukee County declined by 66%. Unlike almost every other urban area in the United States, Milwaukee avoided an explosion of HIV infection among drug users.
Today, Lifepoint is the largest statewide needle exchange program in the nation and is available at all ARCW locations across Wisconsin.