(By – Anna Gorman, Kaiser Health News)
At precisely 8:30 a.m. on a Tuesday morning, the doors to the needle exchange on Skid Row open and the daily procession of injection drug users begins.
Michael Poor, 47, is one of the first customers. He has used his last clean syringe. Poor, who is homeless and addicted to methamphetamines, says coming to the downtown exchange puts his mind at ease: clean needles lower his risk for HIV.
“It is a very needed service, not just in downtown but anywhere drugs are an issue,” says Poor, a lanky, friendly man who is missing all of his teeth. “Thanks to needle exchange … I have stayed pretty healthy, which is a hard thing to do when you are injecting drugs.” Read more…
Kaiser Health News is a nonprofit national health policy news service that is part of the nonpartisan Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.
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