Used-needle exchange gets House support

February 14, 1997|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

The House of Delegates voted yesterday to extend indefinitely a needle-exchange program in Baltimore that is designed to slow the spread AIDS among intravenous drug users.

The move to repeal the sunset provision on the program came on a 111-23 vote after a lively debate during which opponents contended the program condones illegal drug use.

Supporters countered that the program has been more successful than expected -- not just in reducing the spread of the virus that causes AIDS, but also in encouraging drug abusers to seek help.

The measure now goes to the state Senate, which gave rTC preliminary approval yesterday to its version of the bill 29-12.

Under the three-year-old program, addicts who turn in used needles are given clean ones.

Pub Date: 2/14/97

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