By Advocate.com Editors
Originally published on Advocate.com December 05 2002 12:00 AM ET
Boston mayor Thomas Menino on Monday announced that he plans to introduce a bill in the Massachusetts legislature that would allow pharmacies in Boston to sell hypodermic needles without a prescription as a way to cut HIV infection rates among injection drug users, the Boston Herald reports. "The AIDS crisis is not over," Menino said. "The numbers are growing. We've got to do something. We need another tool in place."
About 32% of all people with AIDS in Massachusetts contracted HIV through injection-drug use, according to a report by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Boston already has a needle-exchange program, but Menino hopes that by allowing pharmacies to sell needles over the counter other communities will eventually follow suit.