Los Angeles County OKs Needle-Exchange Program
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday voted 3-2 to approve a needle-exchange program in an effort to curb the spread of HIV and other bloodborne diseases, the Los Angeles Times reports (Los Angeles Times, 3/14).
The one-year program is expected to cost about $500,000, which will be paid for with tobacco settlement funds.
Jonathan Fielding, director of public health for Los Angeles County, said there are an estimated 120,000 to 190,000 injection drug users in Los Angeles, 45% of whom share needles.
The city of Los Angeles and seven other California counties operate similar programs (CBS 2, 3/13).