Eugene, Ore., HIV Alliance Plans To Halt Needle-Exchange Program by End of Year
The Eugene, Ore., HIV Alliance has announced it plans to eliminate its needle-exchange program by the end of the year due to budget cuts, the Eugene Register-Guard reports. The agency had to cut 10% of its $840,000 budget for the fiscal year beginning on July 1. The organization's board of directors decided it would cut the entire needle-exchange program -- which cost $145,000 to operate in the current fiscal year -- instead of making smaller cuts to each of the alliance's programs (Christie, Eugene Register-Guard, 6/27). The alliance will fund the program through the end of the year while trying to secure additional funds to continue the program. The program, which is the largest of its kind in Oregon, exchanges about 52,000 needles each month, and reaches about 30% of injection drug users in Lane County through direct exchanges and another 45% through indirect exchanges, HIV Alliance Executive Director Diane Lang said. "What we've been doing is great, but it goes way beyond our mission," Lang said, adding, "Our mission is to stop HIV, not to control health care costs and side effects of drug abuse in our community" (AP/KGW.com, 6/27).This is part of the Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.