November 07, 2004
OMA CALLS FOR NEEDLE EXCHANGE
The Ontario Medical Association, one of the largest doctors organizations in Canada, on Tuesday, October 26, 2004, called for needle exchange programs in prisons and jails across the country. The OMA says the HIV infection rate among prisoners is 10 times higher than in the general population. Hepatitis C is 29 times more prevalent behind bars than in the general population. John Rapin, OMA president, stated, "The frequent movement of individuals between prisons and the community means that any transmission of the disease within prisons will increase the risk of disease transmission in the community". The doctors are backed up in their call for a needle exchange program inside prisons by the HIV/AIDS Legal Network, which on Wednesday, October 27,2004 released Prison Needle Exchange: Lessons From a Comprehensive Review of International Evidence and Experience. The report was compiled over two years, and looks at needle exchange programs in six European countries.
Ther are two excellant CBC reports on these latest developments on this critical issue: the first on "World Report" that can be accessed by clicking here
and the second on "The Current" that can be accessed here.
To read the OMA report click here. To read the HIV/AIDS Legal Network report in html web page format click
and in pdf format click here.