Amid HIV concerns, Georgia legalises needle exchanges

2019-04-05 09:45

Injection drug users in Georgia will be able to legally swap out used syringes for sterile ones under a bill the governor has signed into law.

The law legalising programmes that provide clean needles is aimed at preventing the spread of HIV and other infectious diseases.

A national HIV and Aids research organisation, amfAR, says such programs are currently legal in 28 states and Washington, DC.

Advocates applauded Republican Goenor. Brian Kemp's decision to sign the bill Tuesday, saying it was "a victory for public health" amid a national HIV crisis.

Critics say the programmes enable drug users.

At least one needle exchange program in Atlanta already operates publicly without users or operators fearing arrest because the program had previously established a relationship with local law enforcement.

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