Needle access program preventing HIV infection still a controversy

Hampshire County

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Tapestry Health’s needle access program opened more than 20 years ago, but needle exchange programs are still controversial.Despite needle exchange programs like Tapestry Health being around for more than 20 years, HIV cases have increased among IV drug users.

Needle exchange program is now open in Greenfield

22News spoke with Tapestry Health’s director of HIV and Health prevention, who told us HIV cases are up because there’s a lack of access to needle sharing programs.She said many people are morally opposed to needle exchange programs because they can be seen as encouraging people to use drugs, but she cites studies that show they are effective, and put less of a burden on taxpayers.“Showing how effective needle exchange programs are, in reducing HIV, Hepatitis C and reducing the likelihood of an overdose and reducing deaths from an overdose,” said Liz Whynott of Tapestry Health.

Supreme Judicial Court ruling allows privately run needle exchange programs

The cost of HIV treatment for one person is about $380,000, which would cover the cost of running the program.Tapestry has needle exchange programs in all four western Massachusetts counties, one of which operates out of a church in Greenfield.

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