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Newsgroups: talk.politics.drugs,alt.politics.clinton,alt.politics.libertarian,talk.politics.misc,alt.society.resistance
From: borden@netcom.com (David Borden)
Subject: PRESS RELEASE -- AIDS, Needles & Minorities
Message-ID: 
Date: Wed, 24 May 1995 12:28:57 GMT

  The following announcement comes to you courtesy of the Foundation for 
  Drug Policy Awareness / Drug Reform Coordination Network (DRCNet).  For 
  more information, e-mail "drcinfo@drcnet.org", or contact: DRCNet, P.O. 
  Box 381813, Cambridge, MA 02238-1813; phone: (617) 648-2655; fax: 648-2713.

******************************************************************************

Please copy and distribute.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE		                       May 19, 1995

CONTACT:	DAWN DAY, Ph.D., (609) 924-4797
		ERIC E. STERLING, (202) 835-9075


44% OF AIDS CASES DRUG-RELATED

INFECTION RATE FOR BLACKS FIVE TIMES RATE FOR WHITES

DIRTY NEEDLES THE PRINCIPAL MEANS OF TRANSMISSION


Princeton, N.J. -- The majority of America's new drug-related 
AIDS cases are among African-American and Hispanic males age 13 
and older, according to an analysis of CDC's latest data by Dr. 
Dawn Day, the Director of the Dogwood Center.  Drug-related AIDS 
cases now constitute 44% of all new AIDS cases in 1994 where the 
means of transmission of the virus is known. The percentage is 
rapidly growing.  The sharing of hypodermic syringes for the 
injection of illegal drugs is the number one cause of this rapid 
increase.

"The wave of AIDS cases among Black and Hispanic Americans can be 
slowed if clean needles are exchanged for ones used by drug 
injectors," said Dr. Day in announcing her data.  "Without 
following public health doctrine 101 -- interrupting the spread 
of disease -- this epidemic is on a course that will simply 
overwhelm American medicine, American cities, and people of 
color," she said. 

Between 1990 and 1994, the number of new drug-related AIDS cases 
rose 90 percent among African American and Hispanic men age 13 
and older.  Dr. Day's research points out the lopsided shape of 
the wave of new AIDS cases.  "A key to understanding this 
epidemic is to look at the rates, not the total numbers which 
tend to hide where new AIDS cases are striking.  The rate of 
African-American new AIDS cases at 109 per thousand who inject 
drugs is five times greater than the rate of 22 new cases per 
thousand for white drug injectors.  The rate for Hispanic drug 
injectors is 94 per thousand.  The deaths we're going to see will 
be simply staggering," Dr. Day said.
     
"Current drug abuse prevention and treatment programs are not 
protecting Blacks and Hispanics from AIDS.  These are truly 
crisis numbers.  We must follow the advice of organizations such 
as the National Commission on HIV and AIDS, appointed by 
President Bush and make clean needle exchanges available to 
injecting drug users," said Dr. Day. 
                       
"In 1994, CDC reports, there were 28,522 new drug-related AIDS 
cases:  15,207 of those cases were among African- American and 
Hispanic males age 13 and older.  This is over half of all such 
cases.  CDC-commissioned studies of anti-AIDS strategies show 
strongly that providing clean needles to drug users in exchange 
for used needles can cut the spread of AIDS.  Each new AIDS case, 
on average, is going to cost society $120,000.  Providing health 
care for these people -- whose fatal illness we could have 
prevented -- will cost us $3.4 billion," said Dr. Day. 

The most comprehensive study of needle exchange programs, 
initiated during the Bush Administration, was conducted by the 
University of California, San Francisco.  Its findings were that 
needle-exchange programs are likely to reduce the spread of AIDS 
and do not appear to increase the use of illegal drugs.  The 
study and its findings were further evaluated by the Centers for 
Disease Control (with input from the National Institutes of 
Health and other Federal substance abuse agencies) in December 
1993.  That review endorsed the study's conclusions and 
recommended ending the Federal ban on funding needle exchange 
programs.  For more information on the needle exchange study, 
contact Peter Lurie, M.D., M.P.H., at the University of 
California, San Francisco at (415) 597-9138. 

Dawn Day is the Director of the Dogwood Center, an independent 
research center in Princeton, N.J.  She was a member of the 
Carnegie Corporation-funded team that analyzed changes in the 
lives of African Americans.  Her work on household energy 
consumption has been funded by the Ford Foundation.  She has 
taught at Brooklyn College and the University of Maryland. 

Dr. Day is a member of the National Drug Strategy Network.  She 
is the author and co-author of several books on racial 
discrimination: Adoption Agencies and the Adoption of Black 
Children (Lexington Books, 1979); Protest, Politics, and 
Prosperity: Black Americans in White Institutions, 1940-1975 
(Pantheon, 1978 (co-author); The Negro and Discrimination in 
Employment (University of Michigan Institute of Labor and 
Industrial Relations, 1965); The American Energy Consumer 
(Ballinger, 1975, co-author).  Currently she is writing a book on 
illicit drugs and racial injustice. She holds both a Ph.D. in 
Sociology and an M.S.W. in social work from the University of 
Michigan.  The Dogwood Center, P.O. Box 187, Princeton, N.J. 
08542, (609) 924-4797, e-mail: dday99@aol.com

                               # # #

The National Drug Strategy Network is an information sharing 
organization made up of people and organizations that are working 
for effective approaches to the nation's drug problems.  It does 
not endorse policies.  It is supported by The Criminal Justice 
Policy Foundation, 1899 L Street, NW, Suite 500, Washington, DC 
20036-3804, Phone: (202) 835-9075, Fax: (202) 833-8561, e-mail: 
ndsn@igc.apc.org.

==============================================================================

The Drug Reform Coordination network (DRCNet) is a non-profit entity 
dedicated to getting the word out to activists on what they can do to work 
for reform of the nation's drug laws and other related laws and policies.  
The Foundation for Drug Policy Awareness is an educational organization 
that aims to raise public awareness of issues surrounding drug policy.  
DRCNet solicits information from national and state level activist groups 
on how people can help them work for reform, and makes frequent announcements 
by e-mail, fax, mail and phone to its "rapid-response team".  DRCNet also 
publishes "The Activist Guide" newsletter on a monthly basis.  Full 
membership in the Drug Reform Coordination Network is $25, and includes 
The Activist Guide and membership in the rapid-response team.   Newsletter 
alone is $18 for 12 issues, and rapid-response team alone is $10.  
(All material is available by e-mail for free.)  For more information on our
publications and educational outreach projects, contact:

DRCNet, P.O. Box 381813, Cambridge, MA 02238-1813
(617) 648-2655 / fax: 648-2713 / e-mail: drcinfo@drcnet.org

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     Peace       Justice       Freedom       Compassion       Truth
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