Eugene, Ore., HIV Alliance will halt needle-exchange program
Citing a loss of 10% in state and federal funding, the Eugene, Ore., HIV Alliance this week announced it will eliminate its needle-exchange program, which aims to prevent HIV infections among injection-drug users, by the end of the year, Eugene's Register-Guard reports. The agency faced a loss of 10% of its annual $840,000 budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1, and the needle-exchange program costs about $145,000 per year to operate. The alliance's board of directors opted to eliminate the entire needle-exchange program rather than make smaller cuts to all of the agency's other programs. The needle exchange, the largest such program in Oregon, swaps about 52,000 needles each month and reached about 75% of Lane County's injection-drug users through direct and indirect exchanges. The alliance will fund the program through the end of the year and will seek outside donations in an effort to keep the needle exchange operating in 2005.