Target: Representative Hal Rogers, Chair of the House Appropriations Committee
Goal: Approve funding for national needle exchange programs.
Drug users could be saved from HIV and Hepatitis C infection if national needle exchange programs are implemented. Needle exchanges are one of the most effective means of protecting intravenous drug users from these deadly diseases. Demand that Congress approve funding for this vital public health strategy.
For decades, states have been legally barred from using federal health funds to set up needle exchange programs thanks to Republicans who see the practice as “endorsing illegal drug use.” Unfortunately, within this time, regional outbreaks and epidemics of HIV and Hepatitis C among drug user populations have erupted in various states. With these developments, Republicans are slowly starting to realize how necessary needle exchanges are for the health of these vulnerable populations.
Needle exchanges have been proven to reduce instances of HIV and Hepatitis C infection while not increasing actual rates of intravenous drug use, and have been endorsed globally as a fundamental component of drug rehabilitation and public health programs. They are perhaps the most effective means of immediately reducing transmission of these diseases among drug users.
Making needle exchanges openly available around the country is a vital component of the fight against these disease outbreaks. Sign the petition below to demand that Congress appropriate funds to launch needle exchange programs around the country.
Dear Representative Rogers,
I am writing you today about regional HIV and Hepatitis C epidemics among intravenous drug-using communities around the country. These epidemics reflect a public health emergency that must be addressed at once. Your Appropriations Committee can help do this.
States need federal funds to set up needle exchanges. These programs have a wealth of scientific evidence in support of their efficacy and have been endorsed by health authorities both in the United States and around the world as a way of reducing transmission of these deadly diseases.
While your Republican Party has historically been against these programs, many of your colleagues have begun to see things differently in light of these current epidemics. Indiana Governor Mike Pence, a strong opponent of needle exchanges, has conceded the point and allowed programs to be started in his state to combat an ongoing epidemic taking place within his borders. Many others are beginning to recognize that it is much more cost-effective to host needle exchange programs now than fund HIV and Hepatitis C healthcare in the future.
These programs are in great need at the moment and should be funded as soon as possible. I demand that you and your Appropriations Committee immediately approve federal funding for needle exchange programs nationwide so that these deadly disease epidemics can end.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Zephyris