Essay on Needle-Exchange Programs and The Fight against HIV/AIDS

Essay on Needle-Exchange Programs and The Fight against HIV/AIDS

Length: 1352 words (3.9 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

This paper will be concerned with the issue of having needle-exchange programs (NEPs) in the United States, for the purpose of encouraging injection drug users (IDUs) to engage in safer practices. Specifically, this paper will address the question of whether or not such programs are a desirable policy for reducing the spread of HIV/AIDS. This topic was chosen because it is evident that something needs to be done to stop the spread of AIDS, a problem that has reached epidemic proportions in nations around the world. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has determined that approximately 25 percent of AIDS cases in the U.S. are found among IDUs (“Needle Exchanges” 112). HIV, the blood-borne virus that causes AIDS, is often spread among this population through the sharing of syringe needles. The virus can then be spread to the general population through sexual transmission. NEPs are regarded as a possible way to deal with this problem. The idea is that IDUs will learn “harm reduction” practices, even if they are unable to quit using intravenous drugs. However, NEPs are controversial because drugs are illegal and many people refuse to be tolerant toward drug addicts in any way. The opponents of NEPs believe that needles are a form of drug paraphernalia and should thus be banned, not openly exchanged.
Despite this point of view, there are several arguments in favor of NEPs. First, there is a great deal of empirical evidence showing that such programs are effective. The introduction of NEPs in Australia, for example, resulted in a dramatic decrease in HIV infections between 1991 and 2000 as well as a substantial decrease in national healthcare costs (Loff & Wodak 1403). An international study commissioned by the Australian Commonweal...

... middle of paper ...

...nal Inmates: Transmission, Burden, and an Appropriate Response.” American Journal of Public Health 96(6), June 2006, 974-978.

Kelley, Margaret S., Sheigla Murphy, and Howard Lune. “A Cultural Impact of Needle Exchange: The Role of Safer-Injection Mentors.” Contemporary Drug Problems 28(3), Fall 2001, 485-507.

Loff, Bebe, and Alex Wodak. “Needle Exchange Programmes Beneficial in Australia.” The Lancet 360, November 2, 2002, 1403.

“Most Exchange Participants Aren’t Sharing Needles.” Alcoholism & Drug Abuse Weekly 13(13), March 26, 2001, 7.

“Needle Exchanges Do Not Boost Drug Use, Study Says.” AIDS Alert 18(9), September 2003, 112-114.

Nelson, Roxanne. “Syringe Exchange Programmes Lower HIV Risk.” The Lancet 360, November 16, 2002, 1570.

“Research Shows Needle Programs Cut HIV Rates.” AIDS Alert 15(7), July 2000, 76.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Purpose of Needle Exchange Programs Essay

- The main purpose of needle exchange programs are based on that idea that access to sterile needles will significantly reduce needle sharing and will in turn reduce HIV transmission. It is also believed that implementing needle exchange programs will allow more opportunities for other forms of HIV prevention education to come about and increase people’s access to HIV treatment services. These exchange programs have opened up plenty of things that work to help reduce the spreading HIV such as the use of condoms, bleach kits, and giving people referrals....   [tags: HIV, aids, needle exchange]

Strong Essays
823 words (2.4 pages)

HIV Speech

- HIV Speech It kills over 300,000 people a year. It can affect anyone regardless of your race, sex, or age. It cannot be seen, treated, readily detected or destroyed. It is capable of destroying millions of people without wars or violence. This thing is AIDS caused by the virus HIV-1. What would you do if you found out tomorrow you had AIDS. How would you react if a family member contracted the disease and was diagnosed with one to three years left to live. The HIV virus that causes AIDS began to affect the nation many years ago and was first discovered and documented by the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta, Georgia in 1979....   [tags: HIV, AIDS, Health]

Strong Essays
733 words (2.1 pages)

Syringe Exchange Programs: A Matter of Public Health Essay

- ... More importantly they are structured on a give and take rule, to properly discard needles. Thus reducing the existence of needles in parks, streets, garbage cans, abandoned homes or cars, thereby protecting the general public, law enforcement officers, first responders, and firefighters from accidental pricking. In Louisiana there are roughly 45,000 IDUs. Researchers at the non-governmental watchdog organization said “laws that criminalize the possession and distribution of sterile syringe programs in the state have contributed to an "extremely high AIDS death rate" which is more than double the national average.” These laws also deter the right to public health....   [tags: HIV, HIV, health, governments]

Strong Essays
1744 words (5 pages)

The Rising of HIV/AIDS in the United States Population Essay

- In 1991, the world learned that one of the most iconic players in the history of basketball had tested positive for HIV (Johnson). Earvin “Magic” Johnson stood with his wife by his side and announced to the world that he had contracted this disease as a result of having unprotected sex. Johnson stated that he contracted disease from having unprotected sex and because of this, he now has to live with a disease that has changed his entire life (Johnson). During this time, many people were uneducated about the disease and some were afraid to be in contact with anyone carrying the virus....   [tags: Unprotected Sex, Sharing Needles]

Strong Essays
965 words (2.8 pages)

AIDS: The Modern Epidemic Essay

- AIDS: The Modern Epidemic When we speak on the taboo subject of AIDS, many questions arise. First of all where did this wretched disease come from, what is it, who has it, and who can contract it. AIDS has terrorized the world for over 20 years and yet there is still no cure. In its short existence it has become one of the most rapidly spreading diseases in the history of mankind. The question regarding AIDS is, “will there ever be a cure?” Scientists may never be able to answer that question....   [tags: HIV, cure, blood]

Strong Essays
1618 words (4.6 pages)

Essay on Current Issues of Needles and Syringes Exchange Program

- Another issue might be arise due to needle and syringe exchange program is legal and law enforcement. The legal and the regulatory of government do not permit the distribution of clean needles and syringes which create the obstacles and difficulties to the successful operation of the program mainly for Intravenous Drug Users (IDU). Most recent survey of The Centre of Public Policies (2000), one of non-profit organization, show that they operate in “illegal background” for 25% which means they drive in a state with a prescription law and do not have formal support of local officials....   [tags: IDU, law, regulation, HIV, health]

Strong Essays
910 words (2.6 pages)

Prevention for HIV/AIDS Essay

- Prevention for HIV/AIDS Although anti-viral therapy exists to support people coping with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and AIDS, the AIDS epidemic is not over. Though it is not prevalent in the Untied States, 2.1 million people died of AIDS by 1999. Half a million children under the age of fifteen are HIV positive, mostly infected through mother-to-child transmission or sexual assault (2). Ninety percent of HIV infections occur the developing countries, leaving the poor and struggling to cope with the epidemic (3)....   [tags: Diseases Health Medical Essays]

Free Essays
1962 words (5.6 pages)

Political Leadership’s Influence in Combating Disease Essay

- ... The second reason HIV was able to develop into epidemic proportions is the simple fact that it was a brand new virus that had never been seen before. This is significant all on its own because it means that when it first began to produce and spread throughout the population it was unrecognizable, untestable, and untreatable. The third reason that HIV was spread at such a high rate is that in the early days of the crises doctors could not properly diagnose the it, this is partly due to the fact that HIV itself does not actually kill the person that has become infected, it simply takes over and compromises the immune system’s ability to fight off other viral and bacterial infections....   [tags: hiv, aids, uganda]

Strong Essays
3346 words (9.6 pages)

Needle Exchange Programs Essay

- ... (Web) Proponents of needle exchange programs claim that needle exchange programs will help to reduce the spread of communicable diseases. In Vancouver, the numbers of IDUs, who are contaminated of HIV, are approximately 6,000 to 10,000 in the Downtown Eastside. (Osborn, 36) Proponents of NEPs believe that needle exchange programs help reduce those numbers. Moreover, NEPs will provide sterile needle and syringes to avoid exchanges of used injections between drug users. Since NEPs are implemented, the number of HIV cases and other diseases are declined....   [tags: drug addiction, NEPs in Canada]

Strong Essays
726 words (2.1 pages)

Negative Impacts of HIV Essays

- The world is constantly fighting against diseases. More than 21 million people have already died due to AIDS throughout the duration of the pandemic (Kanabus et al., 2012). In 2001, three million people died from AIDS, making it the world’s 4th largest cause of death after heart disease, stroke, and acute lower respiratory infection (Inrig, 2012). The most severely impacted continent in the world is Africa with over %70 of the world’s 40 million people living with HIV or AIDS (Dixon et al., 2002)....   [tags: health, economics, education]

Strong Essays
1509 words (4.3 pages)