New York City Mayor Giuliani is Caught Suppressing Report Of His Own Aids Commission On Needle Exchange 1/23/98

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According to a story in the January 26 New York Observer (on newsstands 1/22) the administration of New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani has withheld a report, prepared by his own Office of AIDS Policy Coordination last June, calling for the city to invest in needle exchange. The 37 page report, obtained by The Observer, finds that a $2 million investment by the city in needle exchange programs would likely prevent at least 2,000 cases of HIV, and would ultimately save the city in excess of $54 million in Medicaid expenditures.

The Observer reports that the report was written under the auspices of the H.I.V. Health and Human Services Planning Council of New York City, a federally mandated 45 member body which is charged with determining spending priorities for anti-AIDS funding that the city receives under the Ryan White Act. It was apparently never shown to the Council, however, as one member told The Observer that she "had never heard about it." Apparently, only high-level aides of the Mayor had ever seen the document prior to this.

It is not surprising that the report was covered up, as Giuliani was engaged in a mayoral campaign during and after which he has touted his plan for a "zero-tolerance" drug war, which will include approximately 1,600 new police officers paid for with federal money. In a story in the New York Daily News (1/22), Giuliani denied having read the report, or having suppressed it. About needle exchange, the Mayor said, "It's something I'm skeptical about, but it doesn't mean I'm not willing to look at the argument on the other side. But I don't think it's a good idea to give people needles in order to inject heroin into their arms."

Keith Cylar is the Co-Executive Director of Housing Works, a full service harm-reduction agency working specifically with an HIV positive population. He spoke with The week Online concerning the report and its suppression.

"The nicest thing that I can say is that this is just another indication of the fact that Rudolph Giuliani has blood on his hands. He is a murderer, not only for the suppression of the information contained in this report, and for his refusal to support syringe exchange in the face of all of the evidence which supports it, but for his continuous attacks of the budget for vital services for those suffering from this disease. It goes without saying that most of these people are substance users or are gay or lesbian. Where is the quality of life under this administration for these people? Clearly their lives are not the mayor's concern."

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Issue #26, 1/23/98 New York City Mayor Giuliani is Caught Suppressing Report Of His Own Aids Commission On Needle Exchange | ...But Gets $120 Million from Clinton For More Cops For His New Zero Tolerance Drug War | Justice Department Report: 100,000 More Americans Behind Bars | Two Southern California Medical Marijuana Clubs Targeted by Law Enforcement | 17 Year-Old First Time Offender Faces 10 Years for Role in $20 Marijuana Sale: Excerpt from the Norml Weekly News Bulletin | HHS to Conduct Binding Review of Marijuana's Prohibitive Status: Excerpt from the Norml Weekly News Bulletin | Legal Marijuana Smokers Testify at Institute of Medicine's Public Hearing on Medicinal Marijuana | Forums: Boston 1/29, Minneapolis 2/5, San Francisco 5-Feb | New Hampshire Man Kept Behind Bars for Refusing to Acknowledge God in his Recovery | Penn State Professor Protests Pot Laws with One-Man Smoke-in | Miami School Drug Test Plan Altered | Editorial: From Dr. King's Dream to Drug War Nightmare
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