In the United States, 22 percent of HIV infections
are caused by the sharing of contaminated syringes. In other industrialized countries that implemented "sterile syringe access" policies early on, the rate of HIV related to shared syringes is much lower
: Australia, 4 percent; United Kingdom, 6 percent; Canada 17 percent. Yet the U.S. government remains determinedly opposed to such programs, even going so far as to actively discourage their adoption abroad.
I read an effectiveness review of syringe exchange programs in AJN. This is an effective preventive strategy for reducing the incidence of new HIV infections. I really think that this refusal to fund programs on the federal level is a reflection of a hostile environment towards effective public health programs.