Newsbrief: Needle Exchange Comes to Paraguay 5/28/04

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A small Paraguayan city on the border with Brazil is poised to operate the first needle exchange program in that landlocked South American nation. The city council of Ypejhú has approved a municipal ordinance dealing with injection drug users that embraces the principles of harm reduction and explicitly calls for the creation of a needle exchange program.

According to Paulo Paes of Mescla Latina, a harm reduction group operating in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, and Paraguay, municipal authorities responded to both harm reductionists and government officials in approving the measure. "The law was approved by means of an intervention by harm reductionists from [the bordering Brazilian state of] Paraná, and secondly by representatives of the Paraguayan Health Ministry, and is the first in the nation that calls for resources to be made available for syringe exchange," he said.

The ordinance is designed to reduce rates of HIV infection among drug users in the area. Article 8 of the municipal ordinance notes that "the free distribution of syringes to injection drug users shall have total priority within the program."

Maybe the Paraguayans need to send a delegation to New Jersey to explain to officials there how a civilized society deals with the dirty needle problem.

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Issue #339, 5/28/04 Editorial: Judge the System | California Senate Votes to Bar Random Drug Tests in Schools | DRCNet Interview: Frank Fisher, MD | Medical Marijuana Minds Gather in Charlottesville | Federal Appeals Court Upholds Oregon Assisted Suicide Law -- DEA Threats to Prosecute Hindered Pain Control | Newsbrief: Camden Opens Second Front in New Jersey Needle Exchange Rebellion | Newsbrief: Needle Exchange Comes to Paraguay | Newsbrief: Ohio Man Deported for Minor Marijuana Conviction Found Murdered in Brazil | Newsbrief: Life for Meth | Newsbrief: This Week's Corrupt Cops Story | Newsbrief: Kentucky Prosecutor Offers to Drop Charges in Return for Sex -- X-Rated Romp Caught on Video | Newsbrief: Supreme Court Expands Police Search Powers Again -- Cops Can Now Search Parked Cars Incident to Arrest | This Week in History | Media Scan -- Too Many to List in the Headline This Time! | 3rd Annual Drug War Vigil Film Festival and Contest | Job Opportunities at MPP | Job Opportunity: Campaign Coordinator for Marijuana Policy Reform, ACLU Drug Policy Litigation Project | The Reformer's Calendar
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