Federal ban on D.C. needle exchange funding dropped

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Jan. 21, 2008

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A ban -- in place for nearly a decade -- on Washington, D.C.'s ability to spend local tax money on needle exchange programs was lifted when President Bush signed a new federal budget on Dec. 26, 2007. As a result, D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty announced that $650,000 in local funds would be provided for such programs.

Since 1999, Congress, which controls the city's budget, has inserted into the budget bill a clause prohibiting exchange programs. The latest bill did not include the ban. A report issued late last year revealed that one in five D.C. residents with HIV/AIDS was infected through intravenous drug use. Washington was found to have the highest case rate of HIV/AIDS in the nation at 128.4 cases per 100,000 people, compared with 14 cases per 100,000 people nationally.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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